‘Gov’t to replace SIPA board’

Hon.-Jimmy-LusibaeaRESIGNED Minister for Infrastructure development has decided to retain the Infrastructure Development portfolio but under one condition.

The North Malaita MP Jimmy Lusibaea wanted the entire SIPA board replaced.

Solomon Star reports: “A well placed source in the government confirmed a meeting between the Prime Minister and Mr Lusibaea on Tuesday this week to sort the matter out.

“Yes the two met, and one condition under which he would retain the portfolio is for the government to replace the entire SIPA board,” the source said.

Mr Lusibaea last month terminated SIPA chairman Billy Titiulu and board member Johnny Sy but his action was found to be invalid when the two pursued the matter with the courts.

He then tendered his resignation as Infrastructure Minister when the High Court ruled in favour of the two men who were represented by the Attorney General’s office.

When contacted to confirm this new development yesterday, the Prime Minister’s press secretary Deli Oso said Mr Lusibaea never resigned from the government but only as a Minister.

Mrs Oso said the DCC Government is always transparent about its decisions hence if it decides to take any action to replace the SIPA board; it will issue an official statement announcing it.

Mr Lusibaea last week said he believes in standing up for indigenous Solomon Islanders.

“I believe in helping our own people to grow economically.”

Terminated SIPA CEO Colin Yow who introduced the reforms which were supported by the Minister when contacted yesterday to comment on news of the Minister’s return said Mr Lusibaea is a man of integrity and a patriotic Solomon Islander.

“He is a person who wants to see indigenous people empowered and their livelihoods improved.

“He is not doing all these for himself, but for the indigenous people of this country,” Mr Yow said yesterday.

He said Mr Lusibaea should be applauded for his strong patriotism as a Solomon Islander.

“This is the kind of patriotism intellectual Solomon Islanders should possess.”