Corporation’s advertorial was a waste of public funds


I STRONGLY condemn the three full pages advertorial in the two dailies this week by the outgoing National Housing Corporation managing director, John Dege, and Housing Minister Paul Ezekiel.
When the country seems to face financial crises with many government agencies running dry, NHC saw fit to put up three full-page advertorial in The National and Post-Courier on Monday (Oct 17) at the expense of taxpayers.
How did the NHC see fit to publish such costly articles in the newspapers when they say they don’t have money to run the organisation?
Reading through what seem to be a misconceived article, I find it to be diverting attention of readers away from the real issue of employee malpractices and mismanagement to financial capacity problems. Instead of providing answers to the many unanswered questions, the article has raised many new questions.
Some blind-folded people will agree with Dege and Ezekiel that money has been the problem to run the organisation but I totally disagree. Money has never been a problem to run this state entity. Year in year out successive governments have allocated equal funding to every state entity.
However, it is the incompetent, unproductive and corrupt management practices that have ruined many government institutions such as NHC and Dege happened to be one part and parcel of this problem.
Many will agree that Dege did very little to provide leadership, directions, motivation and control at the NHC during his term and many crooks have benefited greatly under his reign.
In fact, Dege’s incompetency over the years only tolerated corruption to take root and eventually brought about the organisation’s downfall today.
Despite employees being paid fat pay packages, they still engage in shady deals behind closed doors.
I have never heard about one single employee being terminated or suspended over the years despite the organisation coming under spotlight and making headlines for its corrupt practices until Prime Minister Peter O’Neill took it upon himself ordering an investigation into the mess created under Dege’s management and administration.
Then we heard about employees being terminated, suspended and so forth in Port Moresby and other centres.
The three-page article claimed that tenants have failed to pay rents, successive governments have failed to provide funding and legal legislations have hindered their performance.
However, the article failed to mention any malpractices and corrupt deals by its management and employees clearly indicating that there is something to hide here.
Moreover, I believe NHC as the sole agent and municipal authority for all public housing, should be generating its own revenue through collections of rents and land leases to sustain its operations instead of relying entirely on one-way traffic government funding.
State entities are sources of government’s revenue and are supposed to be making profit and pay dividends to the government.
Yet, it seems that most state entities today have lost directions and vision, and have become white elephants, milking cash from the government.
To worsen matters, it seem over the years that the NHC was operating without a blue print, hence, the organization was heading into a nowhere-direction after 41 years of independence.
For public interest and proper transparency, the management should acquit and publish all its past years operational and project expenditure to put to rest all questions and doubts in the minds of public.
All housing titles granted under the table deals should be forfeited, employees with records of malpractices be shown the door out and all outgoing executive team should be held accountable for any foul play they have took part in during their term.
Leave no stone unturned.

Wanbel Niape
Boroko, NCD

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