Muthuvel calls for economic autonomy

West New Britain Governor Sasindran Muthuvel has admitted that West New Britain is faced with immense challenges in health, education, road infrastructure, and law and order.

Governor Muthuvel made these remarks during the ‘Governors and Ministers conference’ in Port Moresby yesterday.

“I am sure other provinces face similar challenges, but in West New Britain, the provincial government has to deal with these issues under immense difficulties.

“While I am not one to shift blame and I try my absolute best to solve these issues, it must be made absolutely clear that these challenges are made difficult due to the centralization of powers in Port Moresby.

“As Governors, we represent the National Government, National Agencies and we are the ‘face of the province’.

“In fact, people hold us responsible for all the challenges such as infrastructure deterioration and public services.

“To this day I have always advocated for decentralization of powers from Waigani and let provinces run its affairs with greater economic autonomy.

“To be fair, we Governors sometimes shoulder unnecessary blame that is offloaded from the Open MPs when services are not delivered or roads are not improved,” said Muthuvel.

He added that no country has ever developed without devolving powers to lower level of governments like provincial governments and LLGs.

“It’s been 46 years. We can all agree that our forefathers have delivered more in the past with small funds compared to now where we have a lot of money and technology yet we are struggling to meet the demand of service delivery.

“There is something seriously wrong. Main one (the) centralized power in Waigani. Hence, wouldn’t it make sense that the PM and Ministers focus on the country while governors focus on their respective province and compete (with) each other to attract investments to their respective provincial government,” the governor said.

Freddy Mou