The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID), Stephen Maesiola has condemn a Facebook commentary that ridiculed a team from the Solomon Islands Road and Airport Project (SIRAP) National Steering Committee (NSC) last week.
The article by Premier Suidani’s private advisor, Celsius Talifilu singled out the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communication and Aviation, Moses Virivolomo of threatening to pull out SIRAP components from Malaita.
PS Maesiola who is a member of the NSC that visited Malaita last week said the claims by Talifilu holds not water and amounts to an “empty political rhetoric”.
“Our visit to Auki is to inform the Malaita Provincial Government (MPG) Executive of the World Bank and SIG funded SIRAP activities, especially, tar sealing of the worsening Auki roads and the Fiu Bridge construction so that they are clear on the tender and procurement processes that are involved,” he said.
“We were not going there to stir political upheaval as demonstrated by the article by the Premiers private advisor who attempted to discredit the National Government with narrow minded political sentiments,” Maesiola added.
Regardless of the negative comments and misleading statements, Maesiola vowed not to bow down to politics and he will continue to provide leadership as Permanent Secretary to MID to implement infrastructure projects planned for Malaita and other Provinces.
“As a leader and a Malaitan myself, I will not bow down to any petty political pressures that attempts to ridicule and block the national government that mandated me to serve my people and the country as a whole,” Maesiola said.
He said infrastructure development is a none devolved function and his Ministry is the legally mandated government agency that is responsible to provide this service in partnership with willing partners.
The Permanent Secretary said the assumption that SIG through the NSC has awarded the contract to China Harbour; a Honiara based Chinese company was ridiculous since Talifilu was not present at the Auki meeting last week to hear what was discussed in the meeting.
He encouraged antigovernment groups to stay away from disturbing national infrastructure projects that are intended to benefit ordinary Solomon Islanders.
“Using the diplomatic switch to China as basis to block developments on Malaita is not helpful to the ordinary Malaitans who are going to be the biggest losers when we continued to engage in bad politics,” Maesiola warned.