Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says Bina Harbour Project in Malaita Province is a game changer and has great potential in moving the country forward.
PM Sogavare uttered the statement in his speech during the Business Excellence Award (BEA) night hosted by the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), Saturday 30th November.
“The Bina Harbour project is a project that has great potential in moving this country forward. Malaita is one of our most economically important province. I strongly believe that Bina Harbour is game changer,” Mr. Sogavare said.
“Our partners in this project are International Finance Corporation and New Zealand Government. The Australian Government is also assisting us with the hydrographic study. The United States of America has indicated their interest as well,” he revealed.
At the same time, Mr. Sogavare said that the National Transport Core Initiative is starting to take shape.
“Whilst it is still at its planning stage I am very confident with the progress made so far.
“This is an innovative initiative that will to link up to 74 % of the country’s population and 37 constituencies in its first phase and all 50 constituencies and 100 percent of our population at the completion of its second phase,” he added.
He said the Government is also embarking on the modernisation of our Central Business District and provincial centres as well which will see the construction of green friendly offices.
“The terms of reference for the scoping has now been completed. “This will be a Public Private Partnership. All these projects are not possible without our partners.
“I am determined to develop these partnerships and to see it grow from strength to strength. I wish to thank our friends, old and new, for your continuous support in our strive to develop our beloved country,” PM Sogavare said.
Finance Minister Honourable Harry Kuma also confirmed that the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) has placed a high commitment on various key projects in Malaita, including the Bina Harbour Project.
“Bina is progressing well to date. Most of the activities that were earmarked for 2019 have been achieved, while others are deferred to 2020,” Mr. Kuma was speaking in Parliament while presenting the 2020 Budget before the whole house.
“In the 2020 Budget, resources are allocated to open a Bina Project office under the Ministry of Fisheries, specifically to look after all activities of the Bina Harbour.
“The Ministry of Fisheries is continuously working closely with the New Zealand Government to secure various expertises both local and international to assist with moving the project forward. In October this year, I also sought support from the International Financial Corporation or IFC of the World Bank Group for technical support to Bina Project. IFC, therefore have signed a MoU with the Ministry of Fisheries for the feasibility assessment of the Fisheries plant. The Australian Government, through its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) also supports the project by conducting a Hydrographic Study of around the vicinity of the Bina Habour,” Mr. Kuma stated.
“…While feasibility studies and assessments are progressed at the Bina Harbour, I wish to inform Parliament that the first phase of a major maintenance and rehabilitation work of South road and bridges from Auki Township leading to Bina Harbour will commence construction around the second half of 2020. This will draw on the financing agreement the Government secured with the World Bank Group called the SIRAP Project as earlier mentioned.
“My intention, is the secured additional funding with the World Bank Group under IDA 19 to continue the second phase of the project in order to fully rehabilitate both road and bridges that link Auki Township and Bina Harbour. The same phase will also focus to North and East road and bridges in Malaita.
“Further to these projects in Malaita, the Government through the National Transport Fund 2020 Work Plan, will build a new wharf at Malu’u in North Malaita and rehabilitate at least 15 bridges along the North, East and South road. These infrastructure rehabilitations are aimed to stimulate economic activities and support other much needed services to our people in Malaita Province,” the Finance Minister said.