BY ALEX DADAMU
THREE provinces late last year signed up to be part of an ambitious tourism program with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT).
Malaita, Central and Isabel will jointly implement the project with the national government.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) they signed spells out the tourism projects and programs for the Ministry and each of the provincial governments to collaborate on over the next five years.
However, regarding extension to other provinces, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Andrew Nihopara said the ministry will be opened for further similar dialogue with other provinces this year but one of the determining factors for the extension of the arrangements (through signing of MOUs) is the declaration of clean audits, accountability and reporting by provinces.
“For this MCT will be working closely with the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS),” Nihopara said.
“Another determining factor would be readiness by provinces to take on joint tourism project implementation with regards to tourism investment interests and product development potential,” he added.
On the update of the MOU signed with the first three provinces, Nihopara said already MCT Tourism staff have been liaising with the technical officers in each province regarding the details of designs and projects amounts to be submitted in the MCT budget bids for the respective projects and programs in each province.
Nihopara further explained that these amounts will be factored into the MCT 2021 development budget bids.
“These budget components for the projects contained within each MOU will be executed in each of the provinces (MOUs were signed with) through Grant Agreements.
“The respective Grant Agreements will outline in details the project implementation plans and schedules for each province.”
Nihopara said they are also working to ensure that all Public Financial Management requirements are met and fulfilled under these Grant Agreement arrangements with each of the provinces.