24 Jan 2007

Western province pushing Solomons government to decentralise

8:00 pm on 24 January 2007

The Premier of Western province in Solomon Islands says decentralisation of government is one way to reduce the amount of travel to Honiara by provincial administrators.

Alex Lokopia's comment comes after the Solomon Islands minister for provincial government issued a warning to provincial politicians to stop spending too much time in Honiara pursuing personal matters.

Japhet Waipora said the provincial members should remain and work with the people that they are mandated to serve.

Mr Lokopia agrees that provincial members shouldn't be in Honiara on personal business but says the Minister's warning is a little bit harsh given the realities of centralised government.

He says the reality is that most provincial members are forced to travel to Honiara to ensure the delivery of key servies to their people.

"The Western provincial government is trying its very best at this time to pressurise the central government to start to look at the possibility of decentralising some of the functions and the duties and powers from central government to the people."

Western province Premier Alex Lokopia.