PM clarifies B’ville infrastructure commitment

The Prime Minister recently clarified in parliament that resolutions signed during the 2017 Joint Supervisory Body meeting did not state clearly any further commitment to infrastructure development on Bougainville.

PM Peter O’Neill was responding to queries raised by North Bougainville MP, Lauta Atoi, who cited a K437 million commitment made by the PNG Government last December, for infrastructure projects.

The Prime Minister told parliament he did not recall a K437 million commitment made in December 2017, but was aware of the ongoing projects that the North Bougainville MP was referring to.

These projects came under the K500 million commitment under the Special Intervention Fund, which was signed off in 2010.

He said the outcome of the SIF program was not much, and so the National Government proposed to the ABG to re-define the use of the SIF – which had a balance of over K300 million.

He said this money was used to re-open the Aropa Airport, begin phase 1 of the Buka Ring Road project, and bulk of the funding was put towards the Arawa/Buin road.

“The release of funds was slow but work continues. I’ve urged the Works Minister and Department to increase funding to open up that part of PNG,” stated the PM.

Meantime, O’Neill said there are some funds under SIF available yet to be exhausted; once used, both governments can enter into new programs.

(PM Peter O’Neill filepic)


Salome Vincent