Six new ministers

Six new ministers of Parliament were sworn into office on Thursday January 18th.

Prime Minister James Marape says this is an opportunity to introduce ‘new blood’ into cabinet. Emphasizing his government’s effort to ensure every province of the country has representation in his cabinet.

The six new ministers are Koroba Kopiago MP William Bando as Coffee Minister, Nipa-Kutubu MP Dr Billy Joseph as Defence Minister, Popondetta MP Richard Masere key Institutional office Minister, Kundiawa-Gembolg MP Muguwa Dilu as Mining Minister, Esa’ala MP Jimmy Maladina as Petroleum Minister and Obura-Wonenara MP John Boito as Agriculture Minister.

Meanwhile, Tambul Nebilyer MP Win Daki is reassigned to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Anglimp South Waghi MP Joe Kuli is now Correctional Services Minister, Peter Tsiamalili Jnr as Police Minister, James Marape takes on Treasury; Sir Ano Pala as National Planning Minister; whilst Rainbo Paita remains as Finance Minister and Kerenga Kua continues as Energy Minister.

Prime Minister Marape says there are still ministries vacant.

“We structure cabinet not just for political representation based on party and coalitions. We also consider regional balance. We also consider provincial balance. In my cabinet today, all provinces are represented except Manus.”

Prime Minister Marape says he represents Manus Province together with the only two MPs from the province in Parliament currently, Manus Open MP and Speaker Jon Pomat together with Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin.

Prime Minister Marape says that with a population of 12 million, Papua New Guinea has many challenges.

“The country is not what it was in 1975. In 1975 the economic challenges were much much less. Today the challenges are much much bigger. The cabinet structure needs to be adjusted. Cabinet number has increased based on the volume of workload that has increased (commensurate) the population increase over time.”

Newly appointed Key Constitutional Offices Minister, Richard Masere thanked the government and PM Marape for recognizing the need for new leadership.

“On behalf of myself and the other five members, we are confident that we bring a wealth of knowledge, our experience from both private and the public sector to government and NEC and we’ll contribute to our people and ensure that the quality of people and their lives will improve.”

As it stands, the cabinet now has representation from the United Resource Party, Social Democratic Party, Greens Party, PNG National Party, and a PANGU Pati record of 53 members.

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