Tuesday, 3 March 2009 10:55 AM

Government Remains Committed to Auluta Basin Palm Oil Project: Riumana

The National Government remains committed to ensure the Auluta Palm Oil Project in East Malaita achieves its intended purpose of bringing economic benefits to the Province and the Country, says Agriculture Minister Selwyn Riumana.

Speaking in conjunction with the Auluta Basin Palm Oil Project Ground Breaking Ceremony last Friday, Mr Riumana assured the Malaita Provincial Government and its people that the Oil Palm Project is one of the priority projects of the CNURA Government with the noble intention to create employment opportunities in rural areas.

"This is a manifestation of the Rural Advancement Policy of the CNURA Government to enhance and empower rural people better their living qualities," Mr Riumana said.

The historic occasion last Friday has demonstrated that the National Government, the Malaita Provincial Government and Resource Owners have jointly agreed to develop an oil palm project in the area.

Mr Riumana said the Government cannot do any better than bringing development to peoples doorsteps.

"This is a golden opportunity for resource owners to capitalize on and allow the wisdom to guide your choice for a better future," he said.

The National Government has acknowledged that Malaita has the greatest human resources but there has never been any major industrial development over the years resulting in a labour drift to other provinces.

Mr Riumana warned that the absence of any major commercial industry on Malaita and other rural areas will create anti-social behavior detrimental to the nation's development and prosperity.

"We must put all our efforts to guide against those negative trends by allowing our resources to be fully utilized for your own benefit and the benefit of our nation," he said.

Mr Riumana, on behalf of the government praised the landowning tribes in East Kwara'ae and East Fataleka for setting an example that other's should follow.

"You have allowed you resources to be set aside for a good course, not only for the benefit of your children and the generations to come but also for our nation Solomon Islands.

"Unless we make right decisions now about the use of our lands, we will not get the benefits our resources will provide us, including our future generations," he said. "You have made and your children will never regret the decision you have made on their behalf.

Riumana thanked stakeholders of the project including the Provincial Government and Resource Owners for the long patience demonstrated when the project went through major challenges and minor misunderstandings right from the start.


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