The Solomon Islands Government today welcomed the passing of the National Transport Fund Act which will provide a long term sustainable mechanism for the rehabilitation and maintenance of transport infrastructure and will support the provision of inter-island shipping services in Solomon Islands.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) supported the drafting of the bill and associated regulations, which were prepared following extensive local consultations in Honiara and the provinces.

"The passing of the National Transport Fund Act activates the National Transport Fund (NTF) which is designed to enable money from donors and other development partners to improve roads, bridges, ports and other transport systems," said Stanley Sofu, Minister of Infrastructure Development.

Improvements to the quality, reliability and availability of infrastructure in both rural and urban areas are crucial for boosting economic growth, creating jobs, and providing access to basic social services such as health and education.

"The NTF allows for the immediate transfer of funds from donors and other agencies, enabling the Government to rapidly respond to the transport maintenance needs of Solomon Islanders," Mr Sofu said.

The Board of Management of the National Transport Fund comprises Government officials and donors who contribute to the Fund. The Board reports to Parliament through the Ministry of Finance.