Dion: ENB needs govt support

National, Normal

The National, Monday 21st November 2011

EAST New Britain Governor Leo Dion has urged the national government to support the province in future submissions for funding to improve its deteriorating health, education and road conditions.
Recently the province has been in the spotlight for receiving millions of kina and Dion said because these monies were dished out of the normal government system, “there was very little or nothing to show for it on the ground”.
He reminded Prime Minister Peter O’Neill during the opening of the Mataure Rabaul Microfinance Ltd office in Rabaul, East New Britain, last Thursday that this had tarnished the province’s reputation to a point where it was becoming difficult to secure funding for deteriorating road and other provincial infrastructure.
“These were not of our making as they were legitimised by Waigani. “Thus we need your support in our future submissions for funding,” Dion said.
Dion, who has been vocal on good governance and transparency and lack of respect for established systems and processes, said in some instances there was disregard for authorities on the ground or provincial governments.
“The system is allowing autonomous powers to members and institutions, which are being grossly abused and in the process, the real beneficiaries are political cronies while the losers are those whom we have sworn on oath to serve our people.”
He commended the government for the tough stand it had taken to ensure such practices were eradicated.
O’Neill said the government had not forgotten the people of East New Britain and appreciated Dion’s efforts on issues of good governance for the benefit of the people.
With regards to Dion’s concern for road improvement in the province, O’Neill said Dion, himself and national departments were working on a programme that would involve large sums of money that would require the government to borrow money in the “right way”.
“Under the Financial Management Act and by the time we finish, East New Britain will be happy with the programmes particularly involving the roads.”
He said this would be announced shortly after bureaucrats completed their work.