B’ville grant clarified

National, Normal

The National, Friday 14th of March, 2014

THE restoration and development grant (RDG) for Bougainville will be funded according to its precise calculation as stipulated by the Bougainville peace agreement.
The RDG is the primary funding from the national Government to the Autonomous Bougainville Government and is a conditional grant in the Peace Agreement of 2001.
Since the inauguration of the first ABG in 2005 the RDG has remained at K15 million per annum when it should have had a gradual increase each year.
The misunderstanding over the calculation of the RDG sparked a row between the ABG and the national government, with the ABG claiming the national government owed them in access of K70 million.
But Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s recent visit to Bougainville has begun to smooth things.
ABG President John Momis said the government had agreed that the RDG had been incorrectly calculated and appropriated since 2006.
“The prime minister and I have jointly directed the Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc and Bougainville acting chief administrator Chris Siriosi to ensure a speedy conclusion to the matter,” Momis said.
He said the ABG’s priority was to have future annual appropriations to the ABG of the RDG at the correct amount starting with the 2015 budget.