Enga Governor, Sir Peter Ipatas made the call last Friday at the Wapenamanda Local Level Government.
He told the 36 councillors gathered that he was in a position to accept and implement powers currently exercised by the National Government because he had the experience to do so, having occupied the position undefeated for 20 years.
Sir Peter’s government alone has been charged by the National Government with distribution of the tuition fee free education funds since it was introduced and the Enga Government has carried out the task without any hitch.
Recently, Sir Peter delivered the 2016 fourth quarter TFF cheques to schools telling different audiences in his province that his government had delivered TFF 100 per cent since its introduction in 2012.
He said he was able to do this because he had in place a system of distribution and accountability that had been tested and tried over 15 years before the National Government introduced TFF.
About K180 million has been given to the province in TFF alone.
“I did this on my own without help or transfer of powers from the National Government,” he said.
“If the Government gave powers to the provinces as well as funding, we would have a very different development landscape today,” he said.
“I did not know what fathers of the Constitution like John Momis were saying when they talked about decentralization and empowerment of the people. Having experienced this first hand over two decades I fully agree with them.”
Governor Ipatas said the Enga experience showed that if properly empowered, provinces would complement national government development policies and plans in a big way.
“We need transfer of powers rather than duplication to make policies and plans work at the national, provincial and local levels. He said he opposed the Government’s District Development Authorities right from the start as they circumvented existing systems and processes and centralized powers back again with the National Government.
He said the Government must empower existing systems and processes instead of introducing new ones.
Photo caption: Governor Ipatas and Wapenamanda LLG President Misek Samai at the council chamber last Friday. Picture by Frank Senge Kolma