BY TAVAKE SIMON HANA’AROA
WITH the current Administrative of the Guadalcanal Provincial Government through the leadership of Honorable Premier Francis Sade, his government is optimistic in making the province to be a debt-free province.
This sentiment was publicly made by the Premier in his speech during the Government province 36th Second Appointed day celebration at Visale, North West Guadalcanal on Friday 31 July – last week.
He asserted that his government’s goal is to make Guadalcanal Province debt-free, financially independent and sustainable.
“When this Government took office, we inherited $22 million in debt that had been accumulated over the years.
“In one year, we have paid off $8 million, 36% of the total debt, with $14 million remaining. We plan to repay that soon and declare Guadalcanal Provincial Government debt-free. We believe this is possible with proper fiscal management.
“I know that some people may think this is an impossible dream. We think it is possible, if we harness and properly manage the resources we have so that they benefit Guadalcanal Province and its people.
“We have enough resources on this island to be economically self-sufficient. For us, this is not just a dream. It’s a plan,” Premier Sade said.
He furthered that as of last year in order to achieve its goal, the Guadalcanal Provincial Government has been working on its fiscal policy, administrative reforms, service sector, the management of provincial assets and properties, the PCDF, Guadalcanal Province townships, the Honiara City boundary, and land issues.
“One of the first tasks of my Government was to put in place appropriate policies and administrative structures that would strengthen the Province’s Finance, Treasury and Administration.
“We recognized that without a healthy fiscal status, the province would not be able to function and deliver the services that it is supposed to deliver.
“We noticed that in the past, the Province had not collected all the revenues due to it.
He continued; “in the first quarter of the 2019/2020 financial year the Province collected over $2.8 million. In the same period this year we collected over $3.2 million.
“My administration believes that this does not reflect the actual revenue that the Province should get from business licenses, property rates, basic rates, etc.
“We are therefore working to update data on businesses and properties within the Province. Our preliminary findings show that the Province should get around $50 million per year in revenues,” he said.
He said Revenue collection is important to finance service delivery, but also to repay the province’s debts. Only then he said can the province subsequently channel its financial resources to delivering services and the productive sector.
Sade later alluded that Guadalcanal Province can be financially healthy, only it needs proper budgeting and fiscal management.