Kokoda Highway gets K10m for upgrade


THE Government has allocated K10 million in the 2017 budget for the upgrading of the Kokoda Highway, Minister for National Planning and Monitoring Charles Abel says.
Abel told the people of Northern during the opening of the Kumusi Bridge on Wednesday that the allocation had been made but it depended on the release of funds and procurement process to get the contractor on the ground.
Abel said the money had always been in Waigani and had been missing its target all these years.
“We are now putting it back into your pocket, we are now sending it down to the LLGs and the message is just a bit of focus,” he said.
“We are trying to get more concentrated development, to focus down on the programmes and we get more visible outcomes from the development programme.
“It’s time we deliver impact-focused projects and you concentrate, for example, on the main highways and the main bridges, hospitals, universities and we allocate and divide the tasks among all the different development partners so that they are able to produce impact projects like these bridges.
“We have cut the other money to give it down and empower the lower levels of government and that is why the provincial government is receiving money for the first time in terms of capital budget on a consistent basis.
“That is why every district is now receiving K10m called district services improvement programme(SIP), then we’ve been giving LLG SIP in 2017 budget. The money is going down to the ward council level.
“Ward councils and village courts – we put them on payroll and uniforms, give them some money and then SIP will come up with those elementary, primary schools, high schools and we create this simple structure that we have put now into the Planning Act.
“We tell development partners to build bigger projects and leave the smaller projects to the lower level of government and other partners.”

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