Parliament approved $70m Loan for Outer Island Infrastructure Development

Dr. Teuea Toatu, Minister of Finance & Economic Development

The government’s approved motion to arrange for a $70m loan from the World Bank is welcomed by Councils because it would provide for the building of new infrastructure and the maintenance of existing ones, including causeways, airports, wharves and jetties. It is a timely implementation of the government’s ‘Motinnano’ or visionary strategies that will see an investment in the rural areas and a boost to their economies.
In his speech to Parliament, the Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. Teuea Toatu, (pictured), said that the loan would “strengthen and develop the outer islands … and provide employment for people there”.
The money would also be used for communication (internet) infrastructure and government building maintenance on the outer islands.
The Minister explained that the move is a way of speeding up the World Bank’s grants of the same amount that it has committed to provide to Kiribati. The loan would be more affordable to Kiribati than a drawdown of the RERF given the low interest involved.
Councils welcome this initiative by the central government, because of its many benefits to their communities. However, given the large amount of money involved, proper transparent and legal mechanisms are needed to avoid abuse and ensure Councils benefit.

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