Ever since PNG gained independent 46 years ago, all our prime ministers to date have been appointing State Ministers politically without taking into consideration their education, qualifications or past work experience.
For example; someone with a background in education or health – a former doctor or teacher – winning a seat in the national elections and becoming an MP is then appointed as a Minister for Justice and Attorney-General or Foreign Affairs and Trade makes a mockery of our political system and this must change.
State Ministers are the political heads of those departments and they must know their tasks and responsibilities well in order to run, control, manage, deliver and perform to the expectations of our country and people.
Another example is the appointment of Minister for Fisheries.
One must not appoint an accountant or a policeman MP-elect to the position as they could be considered for Treasury, Finance or Police instead.
History has proven that some of our past and present ministers have not been performing to our expectations simply because they do not know what to do as minister responsible for those departments and are being misguided by bureaucrats.
Of course the appointment of State Ministers is the prime minister’s prerogative, but he should appoint them based on merit and experience rather than at will to coalition party partners.
Lastly, the Government must stop borrowing money and concentrate on resource project development in order to be economically self-reliant and move forward.
I hope that whoever is elected Prime Minister after next year’s National General Election takes on board some of these suggestions as a new way forward to restore the public’s confidence in our government systems.
Samson C Napo
Former Bulolo MP