The Tari-Pori MP made his announcement today in front of staff at the Finance Department.
“The level of trust between Prime Minister and myself is at the lowest after his office and associates continue to send negative signals on their lack of trust on me,” he said in a statement released afterwards.
“Whilst we don’t have any personal differences, we do differ on some work and policy related matters; these include policies like whether getting more local content participation in our gas, oil sector, or mining industry, or on the empowerment of our local businesses; or on resource laws reconfiguration for wealth generation for our country, or for lack of honouring existing resource projects agreements like the 4.27 percent of Kroton shares for five provincial governments and their landowners, and other issues.
“I have raised my views and concerns on those areas yet I have come to realise that most of my advices find no traction and is non compatible with Prime Minister’s world view, thus it is only fitting that I exit cabinet.
“I am not in cabinet for its comforts but to contribute to national development and having completed some reforms in Finance Department over the last 7 years, including better expenditure control mechanism as well as setting up my signature reform in procurement laws that includes local content emphasis, I feel the time is now right for me to move out of Cabinet so that fresh minds can come into cabinet.
“It will be remiss of me not to apologise to my colleagues in Parliament, family and friends, my staff and all my people of Pori Tari and Hela for surprising you all with this sudden announcement.
“I thank Prime Minister O’Neill for the opportunity to serve in his Cabinet and wish him all the very best as he tries to guide our country in such continual hard times, some of which are natural hard times, some are man-made.
“With this I hereby resign as Minister of State but I look forward to serving the country as a Member of a Parliament.
“Since July 2012, I have been conferred by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill this high privilege to serve my country Papua New Guinea as Minister for Finance and Leader of Government’s Parliamentary Business, but today I resign from these occupations.”