Governor outlines Northern’s focus for this year


Northern will focus on health, education and law and order as priority agendas for 2019, Governor Gary Juffa says.
Juffa said small-to-medium enterprise is another sector the Oro government will be seeking partnerships with investors through its business arm.
“Our focus in 2019 will be to grow our small revenue base. To do this we have passed several laws that will help grow our internal revenue,” he said.
“We intend to restructure our administration to achieve this agenda and beef up on revenue collection capabilities and capacity.”
Juffa said the province had seen little development because its internal revenue was decimated by the 1995 provincial government reforms when provinces lost the ability to collect internal revenues.
“I have joined other governors and called on numerous occasions to revisit the ’95 reforms and make changes to allow provinces to collect more revenues rather than rely on the Government’s 21st monthly GST remittances,” he said.
“We are still owed substantial monies in the form of dividends for shares in the Higaturu Oil Palm (now Sime Darby).”
Juffa said the provincial government is owed about K90 million in unpaid remittances since the oil palm company was established as all dividends were paid to the Government.
“The said shares were sold and absolutely none of the proceeds paid to Oro and Milne Bay,” he said.
“There are also funds promised by the Prime Minister such as the disaster relief K5 million pledged in 2012 of which only K2 million was paid and K10 million for Tourism Development in 2013 with nothing paid.
“There are also unspecified funds due for disaster recovery from Cyclone Guba in 2007 of which have never been paid to date.
“It is now intent on dishing out huge sums to the district development authorities with very little guidelines as to how they will be used.
“I have travelled much of PNG and I can say that despite our circumstances, we are surviving.”