Is funding for the tourism complex in Gizo misused?
THE million-dollar tourism complex in Gizo should have been completed last year, but work is still being done on its foundation.
Work on the project commenced in 2014 to be completed in 2016, however, it has been delayed due to funds unavailability, according to sources.
Work stopped last year in August by the local contractor Trades Transformation Company (TTC) resuming again early this year but has raised queries by the public and provincial government especially the Premier Hon Wayne Maepio in why there is so much delay to its completion.
Sources claim that funds for the tourism complex construction have been misused by the local contractor which is why there is much delay for the completion.
In order to prove this piece of information, they told Island Sun Gizo to call the Chairman of CBD at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Dick Oli.
Unfortunately, when contacting the ministry yesterday, the only response received was that the Chairman has no landline phone in his office and his mobile number cannot be accessed.
“You will have to come to his office personally tomorrow before you can meet him,” was the response given by the ministry’s switchboard.
Western Province Premier Hon Wayne Maepio says he does not know who to believe because rumours have it that the contractor has been terminated, but from what he sees, work is still on progress.
“All other agreements are between the contractor and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development (MID). It is their business to straighten that part,” said the Premier.
“As a government, our only wish is we really want to see the completion of the project.”
Recently during the Full Assembly meeting of the province, the Minister of Culture and Tourism (MCT) in Western Province Hon Chris Mesepitu also explained that the Jetty proposed to be developed under the construction of the tourism complex is also suspended due to unknown reasons which gives a fishy knowledge over the tourism complex saga.
It is anticipated that the new million-dollar complex, once complete, will house an office for the Solomon Islands Visitors’ Bureau (SIVB), Western Provincial Tourism Association (WPTA) desk and the MCT desk.
In an attempt to catch up with the TTC Company contractor via mobile phone to discuss over this issue proved futile as he is reported to be residing in Honiara. Only the construction workers for the building are residing and working in Gizo.