Post Courier | July 04, 2016
WESTERN Governor Ati Wobiro has challenged Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and former PM Sir Mekere Morauta to “stop fighting” and genuinely find a way forward to solve the outstanding issues surrounding the PNG Sustainable Development Program funds.
This is because as the two leaders at the forefront of the PNGSDP issue continue to be at loggerheads over the issue, the people of the Western Province continue to suffer while their funds are locked away in a faraway country.
Wobiro has also suggested that Mr O’Neill through Cabinet set up an eminent persons group to help find a win-win outcome for the people of Western Province, State and PNGSDP on how benefits previously under the care of PNGSDP should be managed.
Further, the new role for Sir Mekere and PNGSDP board should be to continue to manage the long term funds overseas and to declare an annual dividend for use in Western Province.
The dividends would then go into a special purpose entity in the province for development purposes. This special purpose entity could replace the current Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF) or some similar entity or in the interim the Mineral Resources Development Company.
“I am writing in support of the Prime Minister’s statement in the newspapers on Friday, July 1.
“I totally agree with the Prime Minister that the funds under the care of the PNG Sustainable Fund in Singapore belong to the people of the Western Province and no one else. It is pleasing to note that the Prime Minister and the State have begun a process to have these funds returned to the country for the people of Western Province,” Mr Wobiro said.
“I challenge the Prime Minister and Sir Mekere Morauta to be genuine in finding a way forward to solving this long outstanding issue.
People of the Western Province continue to suffer while their funds are locked away in a faraway country,” he said.