Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare has announced the Democratic Coalition for Change Government has secured a SBD$277-Million funding commitment from overseas for the construction of a new stadium in Honiara in support of the bid by the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands (NOCSI) to host the 2023 Pacific Games.
The Prime Minister made the announcement last night at a function hosted at the Cowboys’ Grill for the visiting Pacific Games Council President, Vidhya Lakhan and Executive Director, Andrew Minogue.
He said ‘I am pleased to announce to you tonight that we (DCC Government) have secured funding of SBD$277 Million for the main stadium’ for the 2023 Pacific Games if NOCSI’s bid is successful. The stadium is part of the Democratic Coalition for Change Government’s Comprehensive Sports Infrastructure Development Programme.
The Prime Minister further stated that, “I stand here on behalf of the people of this country as their Prime Minister to declare to you that the Solomon Islands Government under the leadership of the Democratic Coalition for Change Government is fully, fully committed to support the bid by NOCSI to host the 17th Pacific Games both in words and deeds.”
Prime Minister Sogavare said never before in the history of Solomon Islands that all Solomon Islanders have been united for common objective as the bid for Solomon Islands to host the 2023 Pacific Games and this positive vibe is thrilling.
The Prime Minister said what is left for him now is to travel overseas to seal this funding arrangement.
The funding source will be announced after the arrangements on the funding are finalized.
The Prime Minister also announced that as of next year, the Democratic Coalition for Change Government will make an annual budgetary allocation towards its Comprehensive Sports Infrastructure Development Programme so that by 2023, Solomon Islands has in place proper sporting facilities.
The Prime Minister presented traditional Malaitan shell-money to Mr Lakhan and Mr Minogue to symbolize the high regard that the DCC Government and the country at large hold for their visit.
Cabinet Ministers present at the function included the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs including Sports, Hon Manasseh Maelanga, Minister for Communication and Aviation, Hon Peter Shanel, Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon John Maneniaru, Minister for Culture and Tourism, Hon Bart Parapolo, Minister for Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, Hon David Tome and Minister for National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, Hon Sam Maneka.
Mr Lakhan and Minogue arrived in Honiara on Tuesday 15th March to evaluate the country’s current sporting facilities and proposed sites for new sports facilities as well as gauge the level of support by the government and stakeholders for the bid by NOCSI.
They will leave the country over the weekend.