New cannery key to development on Malaita

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HONIARA – The proposed Bina Harbour processing plant in Malaita province, Solomon Islands will be a key economic pull factor that will drive other developments for the province, says the Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), Nestor Giro.

Minister Giro made the assurance when the Malaita Provincial Government (MPG) and his Ministry signed a historical Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the Bina Harbour project on Friday, 10 July 2020.

Malaita Provincial Secretary Fredrick Fa’abasua presents a gift of Malaita traditional shell money to MFMR Minister Nestor Ghiro. Photo: Wilson B. Saeni

The MOU signing in the Malaita provincial capital, Auki was between Fisheries Minister Alfred Giro and Malaita Premier Daniel Suidani, paving the way for the next phase of the project.

At the signing ceremony, Minister Giro reiterated that the Bina Harbour Cannery project is a priority for the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) under the leadership of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

“The Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement recognises the crucial role that Malaita Province will have in terms of implementing the project for the province and Solomon Islands.

“This MOU is a joint partnership thus the need for stakeholders to work together in order to achieve the objective of the project, which is a second tuna processing plant at Bina, is important,” Giro said.

The minister stressed that the MOU is the guide to the government’s roles in implementing this project. “Malaita will be the project host and this means that it will not be without challenges. This MOU is the basis for our partnership for us to work together to achieve results, to look at problem-solving ideas to the challenges and also to allocate resources to the project both from the national government and the provincial government,” the Fisheries Minister said.

He added that the indirect and direct benefits it will bring to their lives are manifold.

Malaita Premier, Daniel Suidani also spoke highly of the MOU, adding that it has paved a new approach in how the national and provincial governments collaborated in implementing the project.

“We believe that the new approach we are witnessing today sets the benchmark for the working together of the National Government ministries and the province,” Premier Suidani said on the day of signing.

Malaita Premier Daniel Suidani signing the MOU in the presence of Dr Philip Tagini, while minister Nestor Ghiro looks on from the back. Photo: Wilson B. Saeni

Mr Suidani added that the Bina Harbour project is also a priority project for his Malaita Alliance for Rural Advancement (MARA) government, and that it fully supports the MOU that was signed.

“Malaita Provincial Government has the most to offer as a partner in leading the Bina tuna project. It is a marker of this coordination and will allow us to proceed side by side in cooperation,” the Premier remarked.

The Premier also urges the people of Malaita, in particular Bina, for cooperation as the project is heading towards its full implementation.

The signing of the MOU was witnessed by officials from the Ministry of Fisheries, the Malaita Provincial Government Executive and representatives from the landowning group from Bina.

While the MOU signing signals progress in the Bina project, both governments are aware that there is much to be fulfilled.