Finance urged to audit Manam funds

Bogia MP, Robert Naguri, has called for an audit into funding allocated to assist displaced Manam Islanders from the last 15 years.

Naguri said millions were allocated but people have yet see a toea of the funding.

The MP, in Parliament on June 25th, pleaded with Finance Minister, Charles Abel, to instigate an audit and table a report.

“These monies have been parked in Madang Provincial Treasury and have been squandered, stolen, misappropriated and misapplied by Madang Provincial Administration,” he alleged.

Finance Minister Abel said he will look into the issue.

“I believe further money has been appropriated in this year’s budget to the tune of K20 million. K5 million warrant has been raised; I’m not sure if those funds have actually hit the accounts of the Manam Restoration Authority yet, but we’ll look into that in terms of the current situation,” Abel replied.

“But in terms of the historical expenditure, I will also make sure that the Department of Finance takes the necessary steps to travel down there, as you say, and to ascertain the facts and to look into what actually happened to all the funds that had been given so far.”

In a supplementary Question, Usino-Bundi MP, Jimmy Uguro, called for an investigation into the Madang Provincial Administration as well.

“Can the Minister for Finance investigate the Madang Provincial Treasury? To check that the monies marked for Manam Restoration Authority is being investigated thoroughly?”

In response, Abel said: “At the risk of judging people guilty before anything has happened, I do note his comments and his concerns generally and then relating to the Manam Restoration Authority. And I repeat once again, we will organise a team from the Department of Finance to go and look into the allegations raised by the Member for Bogia and Member for Usino-Bundi.”

(Bogia MP, Robert Naguri, in Parliament yesterday)

Cedric Patjole