Solomons PM Calls For Cooperation At Independence Celebrations

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Government’s achievements recounted during 34th year of independence

By Elliot Dawea

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 9, 2012) – Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has called for partnership to move the Solomon Islands forward.

Mr. Lilo made the statement in his speech yesterday to mark the commemoration of the 34th Independence Celebration: "Gone are the days that we point fingers, we should refrain from such practices and start developing our country," he said.

He said public support, stakeholders and other non-government organizations must work together with the national government to achieve development aspirations.

He said there were significant achievements the government of the day has achieved since taking up office in November 2011.

Despite the Opposition’s continuous criticisms that NCRA government delivers little, the Prime Minister assured the nation that his government is fulfilling its policies.

"Some of the achievements were construction of the bridges in Makira Province and the cutting off of phone and mobile calls which cost tax payers’ money to meet hefty bills.

"Another significant milestone is the land reform program which continues to educate our people, and three provinces have agreed to register their land, particularly Western Province, Choiseul and Malaita province."

Mr. Lilo said the government is serious in its efforts to implement its rural development policy in the provinces.

"The proposed plan to establish economic growth centers is the government’s flagship policy to boost the rural economy and an alternative to alleviate unemployment."

He said the government has also looked into turning Solomon Islands College of Higher Education into a National University.

"Currently, consultation is underway. Such a move is expected to increase local access to education and ease government expense to send local students overseas."

Mr. Lilo said the country must learn from its past and look towards the future.

"Solomon Islands has come a long way since 1978. I must reiterate that as a young and developing country, the past 34 years has not been easy for us. Today, we are building on the platforms of those who have gone ahead of us; we acknowledge their very important contributions to bring this country to where it is today. This occasion is special for me because it marks my first Independence Anniversary celebration since coming into office in November 2011."

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