17 Jul 2003

Solomons Cabinet Minister says expatriates should not take Solomon Islanders jobs

3:35 pm on 17 July 2003

Debate has resumed in the Solomon Islands national parliament in Honiara over the Facilitation of Assistance Bill - the measure to allow a foreign intervention force to operate in the country.

The discussion was interrupted yesterday by a power failure which forced the MPs to adjourn.

Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Michael Maina called on the intervening force not only to carry out the restoration of law and order but to help in reviving the machinery of government.

He told Parliament that the huge number of public servants is a product of the Public Service Commission employing cronies and relatives - some of whom were not qualified.

Mr Maina also said that the force should use local goods and services so that some of their spending trickles down into the local economy.

He says the Governorship of the Central Bank should continue to be filled by a Solomon Islander.

Mr Maina also says the expatriates being brought in to work in Government departments should be employed as advisors rather than forcing Solomon Islanders to sacrifice their positions.