Abal has full confidence in new line-up

National, Normal

The National – Wednesday, June 22, 2011

ACTING Prime Minister Sam Abal has expressed full confidence in his new ministers, announced last night.
“I have restored former Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch to his former ministry. This is consistent with previous understandings among coalition partners.
“Based on understanding and consultation with regional groupings within the National Alliance party, I have promoted NA deputy leader for the southern region Ano Pala to the position of Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,” he said in a statement.
“He is a person of good and mature standing. Trained in law, his practical knowledge of the processes of government and parliament as well as having performed well in other ministries, including serving in the ministerial economic committee before, I have no doubt about his capability in his new senior ministerial role.
“I also welcome Charles Abel back to the ministerial level recognising the future potential of this young leader. It further strengthens the southern region in cabinet.”
Of his new Petroleum and Energy Minister Francis Potape, Abal said: “He is a capable young leader. With background in engineering science, he understands technical knowledge of the projects well enough.
“As local MP of Hela, he has local knowledge of cultural structures and issues pertinent to people of Hela, especially landowners in the PNG LNG project sites.
“His appointment manifests the Somare government’s confidence and trust in the Hela people and leaders.
“It shows Hela themselves can take leadership over resource development within their localities with responsibility and interest of the country at heart.
“As a Hela myself, I urge and request all Hela people and leaders to work together with Potape and the government in ensuring project security of the PNG LNG project.”
On Philip Kikala’s promotion as Agriculture and Livestock Minister, the acting prime minister said: “I have full confidence in him.
“As former departmental head and vice-minister for planning, he carries with him enough experience to perform in his new role.
“He undertakes the task of overseeing this critical sector which 80% of our population depend on for their livelihood.
“He is a capable leader in his own right. I am sure that he will assist all districts in the area of agriculture.
“The big task he has been assigned to do is to ensure this county’s agro-industry policy comes through quickly that sets the foundation for wealth creation and employment among our people,” Abal said.