The National- Friday, January 14, 2011
By PATRICK TALU
THE acting prime minister has given the revived plant and transport board (PTB) his full backing and wants it fully operational to seal all 9,000km of national roads in Papua New Guinea by this year.
Assuring 20 provincial works managers to revive PTB following a request they made at recent a consultative meeting, Sam Abal, who is also works minister, said he would honour their request and build the capacity of PTB.
However, he set the road-sealing timeframe for this year.
“The national government will fund and upgrade PTB and build its capacity in all provincial works divisions,” Abal told the managers and senior Department of Works staff.
“You are at the forefront and the government will equip and build your capacity through revitalising the PTB so that the rural majority can access services through a decent road network.
“People are dying due to lack of road link. It is our priority to connect them with services.
“I am with you and we will build the capacity in terms of manpower, equipment and other resources required to revive PTB,” Abal said.
The acting prime minister said he had written to Treasurer Peter O’Neill to make funds available to revamp PTB nationwide.
During the consultation yesterday in Port Moresby, the works managers also briefed the acting prime minister about their strengths, weaknesses and their areas of need.
Emphasising the need to revive the PTB, most provincial managers said they were capable of sealing the 9,000km of roads if they had the financial capacity to do so.