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Minister Kopu Congratulates Gao-Bugotu For Historic Achievement

The Minister for the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) Honourable Duddley Kopu has congratulated Gao-Bugotu for taking the lead towards decentralizing government services in the rural areas through the establishment of an office complex in its constituency.

Minister Kopu who is the guest of honour was speaking at the official handing over of the constituency office complex established at the Gao-Bugotu Constituency (GBC) Development Growth Centre (CDGC) at Tatamba in Isabel Province on Wednesday 26 October, 2022.

“Today is truly a historic day and a special one because this is the first such office complex in the country and among all the 50 constituencies, which was built to house government line ministries,” Hon. Kopu said.

He said Gao/Bugotu has set a benchmark as the first constituency to achieve such a feat, and as a responsible ministry (MRD) who is responsible for rural development encourages others to emulate or replicate the achievement.

Minister Kopu said the opening of the office complex not only timely but aligns well with the legislative and policy reforms currently undertaken by his ministry.

Meanwhile, he said as part of the efforts by the DCGA government, to improve the delivery mechanisms and governance of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), and reorient its focus on the productive and resource sectors including essential services, his ministry is embarking on formulating the first Solomon Islands Constituency Development (SICD) Policy.

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“Among other priority areas, the new policy will pursue the establishment of 50 Constituency Development Growth Centers (CDGCs), starting next year.

“These CDGCs will house office complexes including other important facilities to decentralize government services and provide opportunities to our people.

“Under the SICD policy, MRD will partner more closely with technical ministries of the government, provincial authorities and communities and willing donor partners to roll out services to our people in the rural areas.

“These reforms also include regulating the use and disbursement of CDF focusing more on long term sustainable projects while not neglecting the social livelihoods of our people.

“And it is very pleasing to witness today that Gao/Bugotu constituency has already taken the lead through the completion of this office, and I am very encouraged by this,” Minister Kopu emphasized.

He further said that the opening of the office complex is a milestone achievement for GBC and its people and MRD will strive to build on their (GBC) success so that other constituencies will also embark on the same approach.

“I am pretty sure that the people of Gao/Bugotu will no longer have to travel far to Honiara or Buala to seek government services but right at their doorsteps, once the government line ministries move into the office complex.

“You are so privileged to have such a visionary leader, Honourable Samuel Manetoali for, foreseeing a great vision to establish this much needed facility so that needed government services are brought closer to your homes through the building of the office complex,” he told more than 1000 constituents who turned up for the handing over event at Tatamba.

The office complex is funded by CDF through contributions from the national government of Solomon Islands and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) as well as in-kind contributions from the people of GBC.

It is a testament of partnership between the Solomon Islands Government, the Government of PRC and the people of the constituency and Isabel Province.

“Without the partnership and working together of our people and the two governments this project would not succeed. So, let me again thank the good people of Gao/Bugotu constituency for your support toward this project including other projects that are funded by CDF.”

Six government ministries that will have their offices housed in the complex include the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Traditional Governance, and the Isabel provincial treasury bureau.

GBC main priority is to bring basic government services more accessible in the rural areas, thus funding of the Tatamba office complex is a fine example to guarantee rural people access needed services in their communities than travelling to Honiara or provincial capital, Buala.

Another top priority of GBC as aligned to its annual work plan is to progress economic development and provide avenues where constituents can participate in economic activities to improve their social and economic livelihoods.

Counsellor of the PRC Embassy Office in Honiara His Excellency Yao Ming was amongst invited guests that attended the program including government delegation of Permanent Secretaries and senior government officials from other line ministries.

The constituency office complex costs $800,000 plus ($200,000 SIG and $600,000 PRC) and was built by locals who graduated from Rural Training Centres (RTCs) with majority of funding from PRC through the CDF allocations.

The sitting MP for GBC is Honorable Manetoali who is also the Minister for Traditional Governance, Peace and Ecclesiastical Affairs.

More than 1,000 people from the surrounding communities packed the Tatamba Centre to witness the official handing over event.

CDF is implemented by the 50 constituencies through MRD purposely to improve the livelihood of people in the rural areas.

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