The new permanent secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD), Dr. Samson Viulu wasted no time in announcing his priority for the ministry to keep going when he resumes his duties next week.
Dr Viulu took the oath of office and allegiance before Acting Governor General Patteson Oti at Government House yesterday.
The new PS takes his appointment seriously, saying his immediate priority is to push through the Constituency Development Fund Act regulations, which cover the proper management and administration of the fund.
“The reform of the CDF law will also cover the establishment of competent institutes in the constituencies for the decentralization of government services to our rural people so that there is an additional positive impact on the disbursement and use of the CDF” , said Dr. Viulu.
He said the reform will also see the expansion of the functions of the Ministry of Rural Development.
The new PS expressed its anticipation of seeing the CDF as an engine for the country’s economic growth and said it believed this could be achieved by establishing an appropriate regulatory framework for the CDF.
Previously, Dr. Viulu served as Animal Husbandry Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (MAL) before continuing his studies in Japan where he obtained an MSc and PhD in Agricultural Sciences.
After earning a PhD from Gifu University in Japan, he worked at various institutes in Japan before joining the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva, Fiji in 2016 where he worked as a researcher for three years.
In 2019, he resigned from USP and returned to the Solomon Islands and served in the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet as Productive Sector Political Secretary.
As head of the productive sector, Dr. Viulu dealt with seven ministries, namely the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT), the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labor and Immigration (MCILI), Ministry of Lands, Housing & Survey (MLHS), Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), Ministry of Communication and Aviation (MCA) and Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID).
He said he was happy to be part of the MRD team and looked forward to working closely with Minister Duddley Kopu and his new colleagues.
He thanked his predecessor Allan Daonga for his leadership over the past few years.
Dr. Viulu first obtained a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from USP, Samoa, and then a master’s degree in science and a doctorate in agricultural science from Gifu University in Japan.
Dr. Viulu is married to a Malaitan woman and has three children.
The duration of his new mandate is four years.
A formal welcome program for the new PS by MRD staff at the ministry is scheduled for early next week.