Opposition Leader, Hon. Matthew Wale is disappointed with revelations
that the huge government Mamara Tasifarongo Housing Development
Project for public servants in the Northwest Guadalcanal plains, has no
room for the recruitment of locals and questions why this is so.
It is disappointing to note that when the country is in dire need of any
employment opportunities for locals, such a huge project which has the
potential of yielding over thousands of jobs, offers no answer and it is
even more surprising that this is taking place with government approval
For any government, it should be at the forefront of its economic policy
that every big investment opportunities must be accompanied by strict
conditions to reserve all job opportunities for locals, save where the level
of expertise is not available locally. It should not matter whether the
project is short term or not.
One only needs to look at some of the structures around that locals have
built to see the high standard of workmanship that is available locally.
I therefore question why this is so? This seems to be a norm when it
comes to huge projects that involve Chinese investors. Information at
hand also suggest the same is also happening with the SPG 2023
construction work at the old Telekom area at Ranadi and complaints by
locals involved with logging companies in the logging industry.
If this is a trend silently endorsed by the government, it is a matter of
public concern and only repeats the concept of boomerang aid which is
something that has been tagged with other donors other than China for
Unfortunately, this is what happens when the government sides with
investors against the interests of its people, where indigenous Solomon
Islanders are squeezed out of opportunities, and government does
nothing about it.
Un-employment rate in Solomon Islands is at its highest and it is
expected to grow over the coming years if nothing is done. Thus it is
urgent that the government do something as it is becoming a time bomb
which can lead to ongoing unwanted social issues and disunity.