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Papua New Guinea PM Marape blames previous O’Neill govt’s debts for delay in road projects

James Marape, prime minister of Papua New Guinea, speaks during a news conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on Monday, July 22, 2019. Photographer: Mark Graham/Bloomberg

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

PORT MORESBY, Feb 14, 2020, PNG Today. Huge debts incurred by the previous government, through the Department of Works, has delayed the construction and sealing of the Yekimbole to the Sepik Plain Road in East Sepik Province, PNG Today reported.

Prime Minister James Marape told parliament yesterday, while the previous government has been boasting about building more infrastructures in the country, they have racked up so much debt.

“For Works contract alone, over more than 500 Hundred Million Kina worth of contracts nationwide, were given but no actual monies to match.

“Some can claim that they are good at building infrastructure but they are also good at getting borrowed monies and no actual monies to match the contracts.

Marape said the Works Minister can confirm now that the Marape- Steven government for the first time has actually given money to the Works department in cash last year at the back of the Supplementary budget.

He further told Parliament that during his term as Finance minister with the previous government he never saw the actual monies earmarked for works department.

The prime minister adds all monies go direct to contractors and Works never get the money promised to it.

Mr. Marape was responding to a question from Yangoru/Saussia MP Richard Maru.

Maru was asking why there has been a six-month delay, in the construction of the above-mentioned road project.

Meantime, Yangoru/Saussia MP Richard Maru is calling on the National Government to ensure that the funding for road projects, earmarked for the Sepik Chicken, Grain, and Cocoa Projects is released quickly.

Mr. Maru said that the O’Neill led government allocated 10 million kinas in its development budget to fund the construction and sealing of this road, but this funding is nowhere to be seen.

He said that it is now six months, and they are drawing near to the production startup date of May 2020, and he is concerned that this may affect this project.

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