I WOULD like to thank the Prime Minister for the Government’s gift to the people of Papua New Guinea – the Vision 2050.
He must be applauded for serving the nation for 40 years and presenting a mission statement to drive the nation forward for the next 40 years.
But what has Sir Michael Somare left behind to remind the people of PNG that we have come so far and achieved in the last 34 years?
Nothing much except for a list of memorable scandals, corrupt dealings, misuse and abuse of public funds, bribery and sheer greed, lawlessness and political instability.
We have often wondered in our little world whether there is hope.
We have seen the devastation caused by natural and man-made disasters.
We have witnessed the atrocities of hatred and tribal wars.
We have seen our mothers and children dying from curable diseases.
We have seen our people consumed with hopelessness, grief and sorrow, and the list goes on.
PNG’s development has been impeded by many misguided priorities.
While the Vision 2050 makes fascinating reading, it is uncertain whether PNG will be able achieve any of these targets as we are fond of shuffling and shifting our priorities.
If PNG wants to achieve economic stability, the Government will have to seriously focus on:
*Encouraging prudent monetary policy and improve budgetary performances (fiscal management), savings and investments;
*Improve infrastructure, facilities and service delivery;
*Minimise lawlessness and corruption in the private and public sectors;
*Put an end to political instability and weak governance systems; and
*Create more job opportunities etc.
These are the fundamentals to drive Vision 2050.
The question is not whether our Government is too big or too small but whether it works, whether it helps families to help themselves to survive the harsh conditions.
If the answer is yes, we will move forward.
But if the answer is no, all programmes and strategies will end.
Mehrra Minne Kipefa