Northern Governor

Power outages attributed to outstanding bills

State Owned Enterprise Minister, Sasindran Muthuvel, said this when responding to questions raised by Northern Governor, Garry Juffa, at today’s Parliament sitting.

Governor Juffa questioned the State Owned Enterprise Minister over the constant power outages over the last two weeks.

He said it was affecting everyone.

“Em i afectim bisnis, gavman na laif,” Juffa stated.

Over the last two weeks, PNG Power has conducted a load shedding exercise to ration fuel stocks.

Councillors urged to be proactive

Northern Governor Gary Juffa made this call when witnessing the swearing in of councillors and LLG council presidents and the Oro Provincial Executive Council on Tuesday.

“If you are proactive at the community level, Government will effectively function and services will reach our rural population. My leadership is only as good as your proactiveness and active participation in policy and delivery,” Juffa told those present.

Juffa stresses on free speech

Northern Governor and deputy chairman of the Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts, Gary Juffa, made this statement following the purported sacking of EMTV’s head of news and current affairs, Neville Choi.

“We are supposed to be a democratic nation where people are supposed to be able to express themselves freely,” stated Juffa.

“Journalists are supposed to report without fear or favour – facts – and we are supposed to promote the principles of democracy that allow for free speech.”

Meantime, Choi has been reinstated today as of 8am.

K60m outstanding: Juffa

Speaking at the handover of the province’s acquittals to the Department of Implementation and Rural Development (DIRD), Juffa said they have only received K39.1 million during his first term as Governor.

The Acquittals reports are for the years 2013 to 2016.

Juffa said his province has not received its full share of the Provincial Support Improvement Programme (PSIP) funds as well as the Special Support Infrastructure Grants (SSIG).

He said between 2013 and 2016, they only received K29.1 million in PSIP and K10 million in SSIG’s paid once in 2013.

Juffa calls for investigation into death

Juffa said John Kunikaz a landowner in Wanigela who has been vocal about the alleged illegal operations by Northern Product Forest Limited was found dead over the weekend, following an alleged assault.

Juffa also called on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to sideline Forest Minister, Douglas Tomuriesa.

In a media conference, Governor Juffa said the death of the local landowner was highly suspicious given that the deceased had filed a police report stating his life was threatened by what he claims are criminals employed in the illegal operation.

Juffa calls for investigation into porter’s death

Juffa said he had already written to Police Commissioner Gari Baki to investigate the death of one Winterford Tauno along the Kokoda Track.

He demanded to know if the killing was manslaughter and charges should be brought against the Australian tour operator.

“I have received a number of recent reports that some Australian tour operators have been overloading their porters to keep costs down,” said the governor.

Tauno, who hailed from Buna, died on the second day of a trek organised by an Australian tour company, Getaway Trekking.

Northern hospitals suffering drugs shortage: Juffa

He said this following reports from the people of Oro on shortages of drugs in the hospitals and aid posts.

The governor says the funding constraint is virtually a death sentence for the most vulnerable, especially those living in rural areas.

Governor Juffa stated that he is getting constant reports from his people that their aid posts and hospitals were issuing prescriptions for drugs and sending them away; however not all these people can afford the drugs and feel that the free health policy is a let-down.

​Juffa, Bird praise govt’s plan

In a media conference yesterday with the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel, the Governors said the plan is achievable and can be implemented in a coercive manner.

Bird said Abel’s idea in gauging the views of governors on certain issues in the province is good for the governance of the country.

He said governors have a clear view of what’s happening in the province and can articulate better on issues.

With the 100-Day Economic Stimulus Plan, Bird said although provinces have issues, many of them have never been given consideration.

​Juffa welcomes move by Ijivitari MP

Juffa told Loop PNG that he respects Masere’s decision to move as he has his own reasons.

However, he hope Masere’s move does not in any way prevent him from working with the provincial government in delivering the services that the people deserve.

He said Masere, along with Sohe MP Henry Amule, have made an agreement to work together regardless of which sides they are attached to.

“He’s still part of the Oro assembly and will continue to be part of the assembly.

​Juffa condemns Govt’s 100 Day plan

He specifically raised concerns on the reduction of the Provincial and District Services Improvement Program funds.

He said given the situation the country is facing, such funds are the only ones available to many districts and provinces to be able to meet the shortfalls from the lack of funding from the government via the recurrent and functional grants.

However, Juffa said most of the recurrent and functional grants have never been paid to districts and provinces.