Tuesday, June 21, 2011

SIBC News, 21 June 2011


A Professor from the University of the South Pacific, School of Economics, warns that Solomon Islands could be harmed by the 5% appreciation if not handled properly.

Speaking to S-I-B-C news from Suva, Fiji, this afternoon, Professor Sunil Kumar says while the decision to appreciate the Solomon Islands currency reflects the confidence of the government and Central Bank of Solomon Islands in the country's international reserves, mineral and agricultural sector, such a move could be harmful.

He explains, apart from negative export if not guided properly, the capital inflow into the country could decline which is a serious problem as the country needs more capital inflow to improve its infrastructure, which may then diminish investor confidence in the country.

In an earlier media conference, Finance Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said that the appreciation will also maintain consumer spending keeping it firm and robust.

But Professor Kumar argued that if consumption increases significantly because of the appreciation, import bills could further increase.

The head of U-S-P school of economics said that in such situations the government needs to assist the supply side of the economy and boost production.

He adds that monitoring prices of imported goods must be strengthened so as to ensure that the benefits of low prices imported overseas are trickled down to the rural populace and not translated by importers to make huge profits.


Prime Minister Danny Phillip says he believes the disabled Russell Islands Plantations will be up and running again before the end of this year.

Speaking to local media in a press conference yesterday, Mr Phillip said that it is always good to set higher aims and work hard towards it.

He said the government will ensure that genuine investors for Russell islands will be taken on board and relevant incentives for these investors will be provided.

He explained that the most difficult part of the issue was getting all the stakeholders together to agree on an exit package.

He said a resolution has already been achieved and therefore work from here on would not be difficult.

Prime Minister Danny Phillip also said that he wants Russell Islands to be an example of what can be done in other provinces throughout the country.


Premier of Central Islands Province Patterson Mae has acknowledge the progress made by the Danny Phillip led government to address the RIPEL issue.

Last week, all major stakeholders of the Russell Islands Plantation Estate limited successfully agreed on a resolution and an exit package for the former investor.

Speaking yesterday at a joint press conference with the prime minister and heads of the R-I-P-E-L management and stakeholders, Premier Mae said his people had suffered much over the past eight years.

He however says that with the recent positive developments, his people are now hopeful for a better future.

Meanwhile the Mr. Mae conveyed gratitude of the people of central islands province who also had shares in RIPEL towards the management of RIPEL for their efforts in assisting the government and people in resolving the problem to where it is now.

He also thanked the three man negotiating team appointed by the prime minister to negotiate with the mortgagee for their efforts and hard work.

Premier Patterson Mae stated that without them the work to resolve the dispute would not be where it is today.

He assured the prime minister that the central islands provincial government and people will work closely with the national government to rebuild the Yandina plantation.


Voting in by-elections for three wards in the Western and Isabel Provinces are set to take place tomorrow.

Two wards in the western province, South Kolombangara and Mbuini Tusu and Isabel Province's Kokota ward are going to the polls tomorrow to choose their new provincial assembly members.

Preparations for each ward have gone smoothly with final briefings for presiding officers, polling assistants and police officers done yesterday and this morning for the three wards.

Returning Officer for Isabel Province's Kokota ward, John Mark Lokumana says briefing for polling officials was carried out this morning before officials were deployed to the five polling stations.

581 voters have been registered to cast their ballots tomorrow for the two candidates who are vying for the Kokota ward seat.

In the Western Province, Returning Officer for Mbuini Tusu Ward Goldie Ringi says polling officials have been deployed to the four polling stations where 1998 voters have been registered. Six candidates are contesting the ward.

And Returning Officer for South Kolombangara Ward Jonathan Bana says briefing for his polling officials were done last week and they have been deployed to the four polling stations to prepare for polling day tomorrow.

South Kolombangara Provincial ward has more than 3400 registered voters and 7 candidates are contesting the seat.

Results for all three wards are expected to be declared on Thursday after counting which will be held in Buala, Gizo and Seghe respectively.


Shortland Islands constituents were the latest beneficiaries of the government's rural livelihood program.

Constituency development officer for the constituency Michael Kalanuma says, he has taken delivery of more than four-hundred and fifty thousand dollars worth of Solar equipment from the livelihood program for the people of shortlands.

Mr Kalanuma says this will bring the biggest improvement in the livelihood of the people of shortlands as families will now be able to use electrical appliances for lighting, among others.

He says, the 300 solar sets will be transported to the constituency at the end of this month and distributed to the first recipients.

Mr Kalanuma says that by the end of this year, all households in the Shortlands constituency will have a solar set each.

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