President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) met on Wednesday 34 of 88 village chiefs in Morotai on his tour of North Maluku.
The president discussed rural fund management with the village chiefs telling them that the fund should be properly spent.
One of the village chiefs, Alimin Mansyur from the village of Wayabula, said he and his colleagues were given special message from the president.
“The president specially stressed the importance of spending the fund properly and would not tolerate even a small mistake in the use of the money,” Alimin said.
The president promised to study request by the village chiefs to build basic infrastructure including roads, bridges, and settlement centers, he said.
The president also held meeting with military and police officers on duty in the small island.
From Morotai, the president and his entourage boarded a military helicopter leaving for Halmahera Utara where he would commission sea port projects.
The president was to commission five seaports in eastern Indonesia as part of his sea toll project .
Jokowi is to officially commission the seaports of Tobelo, Galela, Tutu Kembong, Wonreli, and Pulau Teor. The ceremony would be held at the port of Tobelo in the regency of Halmahera Utara.
Ports are a key to success in economic development in the island region especially for isolated and frontier islands, he said.
The availability of the seaports would facilitate transport of goods and people and to bring modernity to the backward region, he said.
Better distribution would reduce economic gap, and without ports, distribution would be difficult and there would be no way to know the potential of areas, he said.
The prices of consumers goods in many areas in eastern Indonesia are much higher because of inefficient distribution system, he said.
Therefore, the president repeated saying about the importance of sea toll project to facilitate transport between the eastern region and the more developed western part of the country.
He said regular sea transport and logistics have to be improved between Sabang in the west and Merauke.
After commissioning the ports, the president would hand over social aid in the sub-district of Galela.
The president and First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo would return to Morotai and later in the day the group would fly back to Jakarta with the presidential aircraft Indonesia-1 and is expected to arrive in the capital city at 18.00 local time.
Source: Antara News