Leader of Opposition, Hon. Matthew Wale calls on the government to explain the status of the NZD3 million (SBD15m) funding support provided by the New Zealand government.
The funds was for Covid-19 related work on the Gizo and Kilu’ufi hospitals in Western and Malaita Province.
The Opposition Leader’s call follows a media statement made by Malaita Provincial Premier, Daniel Suidani, who early this week, questioned the government over the whereabouts of the funding.
In his statement Premier Suidani revealed that to date the Kilu’ufi hospital in Malaita is yet to receive any assistance as works on the supposedly funded project have not started.
Hon. Wale said, “It was in April this year that the New Zealand Government through its office in Honiara announced the grant assistance and the delivery of the grant to the country. It has been 8 months now and the ongoing delay is a matter of public concern for the people of Malaita."
“In a ceremony earlier to mark the handing over, the government had assured the New Zealand government through Her Excellency, Georgina Roberts, that work on the modification designs were already in place with only construction to follow. With the time that had passed, I am not surprised why Premier Suidani made the call.”
The Opposition Leader says Malaita and Western provinces are equally high risk as Honiara and so upgrading their hospital facilities is important for easy access. He says that the unexplained delay suggests that either government does not consider this as urgent, or worst still, the funds have been misused.
“The government needs to explain why there is long delay, now that covid-19 is in the country. Failure to provide funding to the rightful recipients and projects, puts to question the government’s governance and financial management status.
“It is important that the funding support is directed for the intended purposes and not diverted for other projects. The government is duty bound to ensure the funding is put to its use, particularly work on the Kulu’ufi and Gizo hospitals,” Hon. Wale reiterates.