The National, Thursday, April 28, 2011
EAST New Britain Governor Leo Dion yesterday took advantage of the province’s first assembly meeting to explain project funds from the national government.
This was to clarify misunderstandings and allegations levelled against him about the use of such funds in the recent past.
Dion said the province had been privileged to have received various one-off funding allocations from the national government.
He said notable funding allocations, which have contributed immensely to the advancement of the people of ENB, was the K20 million disaster project funding, the K2 million allocated for the relocation of Matupit islanders and K3 million for Rabaul town roads and drainage improvement.
He said following an increase in seismic activity in the province in 2006, the government approved a submission for K20 million for the province.
That money was used to reconstruct and rehabilitate vital government services, not in only Rabaul district but in all the four districts, he said.
This special allocation, commonly known as the Rabaul Volcano Victims Trust Fund, started in June 2007.
This funding is operated under a trust instrument and has a trust bank account with ANZ Bank Kokopo branch, trust database using the government accounting systems and operated from the ENB provincial treasury office in Kokopo.
Dion said projects earmarked for funding under this allocation were captured in the trust instrument and as per budget priority areas and approved by the provincial executive council.
In 2007, the ENB provincial executive council (PEC) approved nine key programmes highlighting itemised projects with funding allocations under supply, radio relay station and soil erosion control.
He said ENB people had benefited from these funds in the form of the following projects: 2006 provincial disaster commitments and operations of the ENB disaster office, ENB fire service, outstanding payments for logistics and manpower for evacuation and other activities, humanitarian support to Red Cross services, and support to the Rabaul Vulcanological Services for volcanic monitoring and surveillance.
The new sexually transmitted infections (STI) clinic at Butuwin has K250,000 under this funding for drugs, medical equipment and other medical supplies.
Land mobilisation funds under the K20 million allocation was for acquiring plantations for the purpose of resettling people.