Govt will support ABG, says O’Neill

National, Normal

The National, Friday 21st September 2012

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has assured the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ABG) that the government is ready to ensure it achieves its developmental programmes in the next five years.
“I presented a cheque for K100 million to the ABG on Wednesday and this is the first component of the K500 million that the government of Papua New Guinea will give to the people of Bougainville annually for the next five years as agreed during the joint supervisory body (JSB) meeting in Port Moresby in February last year,” O’Neill said.
“The K500 million commitment is the additional fund from the national government to support key development projects that will enable the Bougainville people to recover from the crisis.
“This will also grow their economy swiftly in order to successfully implement the autonomous arrangements entered into under the Peace Agreement.
“Within the next five years, the government will continue to support the ABG with such funding to ensure the people of Bougainville receive the developmental services that they deserve and also to make sure the arrangements are intensified,” O’Neill said.
The prime minister said a JSB meeting would be held in Kokopo, East New Bri­tain, next month for both
go­vernments to renew the partnership by discussing key agenda items that was being prepared.
which the Joint Technical Teams are preparing.
The JSB is comprised of ministers from the PNG Government and the ABG, of which the prime minister is chairman. The ABG president is the co-chairman and the body is responsible for identifying and implementing developmental programmes in Bougainville.
O’Neill said he would visit Bougainville on Oct 16, the day before the JSB meeting in Kokopo.
“The National Coordination Office of Bougainville Affairs (NCOBA) is working to ensure that the upcoming meetings in Arawa and Kokopo are not only successful but come up with constructive outcomes for Bougainville and PNG.
“As a Government, we also thank our donor partners like AusAID and New Zealand Aid for providing support in the JSB process.”