Aihi: Benefits agreement important for projects

National

By HELEN TARAWA
District development authorities spending funds on building communication towers must ensure that service providers have a benefits-sharing agreement tied to it, acting Secretary for Department of Implementation and Rural Development (DIRD) Aihi Vaki, pictured, says.
Vaki said most of the reports received by DIRD did not clarify if there was such an agreement in regards to communication towers.
“From the last term of Parliament, a lot of DSIP (district services improvement programme) monies have been used to build communication towers but no benefits-sharing agreement signed,” he said.
“They (districts) must tie the service providers with some form of agreement so that in the long run, they will get benefits to supplement their recurrent (budget).
“This is a way of helping our economy to go forward.
“This is where the Government talks about the 100-day plan.
“We are looking for avenues to generate money.”
Vaki said telecommunication towers were important communication infrastructure for the rural people, however, district development authorities had to sign an agreement with service providers to share
benefits.
“Some district development authorities have completely funded those projects, but they sit back and watch service providers collect money,” he said.
“I’m sounding this to our leaders because I see their acquittals, but I don’t see specific reports on any of these towers or service agreement.
“It seems the private sector is enjoying while the district development authorities are losing big time.
“I want to bring this matter to the attention of the 111 MPs and the Government to be aware of.”

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