12 Aug 2013

Senior Solomons officials resigns over project grant concerns

2:55 pm on 12 August 2013

The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in Solomon Islands has resigned amid pressure on him to release funds earmarked for cocoa and coconut project to politicians.

The Solomon Star reports that Frank Wickham's resignation comes as sources within the ministry confirmed his reluctance to sign for the release of the funds if they are to be used for political purposes.

The Ministry has been allocated 5 million US dollars in its budget this year for cocoa and coconut developments.

MPs are demanding that the ministry channel the funding through them.

However, officials from the ministry say Mr Wickham believes he will be doing injustice to Solomon Islands farmers if he allows politicians to take control of the funds.