THE PRIME MINISTER ADDRESSES THE NATION
The Prime Minister, Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga addressed the nation in a message broadcasted over Radio Tuvalu on Christmas Eve 2017. He convinced the nation that for the year 2018, his government is committed to promoting and developing the health standards of all the people of Tuvalu, improving the life standards of Tuvaluans, developing the family food security, and respond to the impacts of climate change, for example, the coastal protection project that includes the islands of Nanumea, Nanumaga and Funafuti is to be soon implemented.
The Prime Minister said that his government has committed in its 2018 budget an amount of $8 million towards the Tuvalu Trust Fund and $2million towards the Tuvalu’s Climate Change Survival Fund.
In other developments, the Prime Minister assured the nation that the government will also prioritize works on the repair and maintenance of classrooms as well as the education and training of Tuvalu citizens.
The Prime Minister also highlighted a few of his government’s achievements in 2017 referring to the development in renewable energy. He said that about 95-96% of homes in Tuvalu have now access to a 24-hour electricity supply. Last month, the new fishery’s office complex was inaugurated and an agreement was also signed between the Government of Kiribati and the Government of Tuvalu allowing Tuvalu’s air space to be used for a new air service to be operated by Air Kiribati to Tuvalu. The new airport terminal is also expected to be officially opened soon.
The Prime Minister also informed the nation about two important events to take place in Tuvalu this year, a leaders’ meeting for Polynesian countries will be hosted by Tuvalu and it will be held in Funafuti. The other meeting is the Forum of Pacific Leaders Meeting to be held in Funafuti in 2019. Government is now working on ensuring that there are available and enough accommodations for the participants to the two meetings.
The Prime Minister confirmed to the nation that Tuvalu is really progressing and advancing as reflected in the continuing increase of the national budget from $70m + in 2017 to about $80m + in 2018.
Dr. Kitiona Tausi