“THE bridge over river time” was the heading given by Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru at the signing of the Kokopo BSA.
His advertorial echoed some powerful but moving statements that ran through the veins of many people and touched the hearts and minds of many.
Mr Agiru said: “We have finally put the final rivets into the bridge over river time.
“On this bridge our lawyers, our accountants, our engineers, our insurers, our merchants, our bankers, other professionals and all manner of businesses will cross confidently to ply their trade in the international community.
“We are proud that we have begun construction work on the bridge.
“We must stand guard that its foundations, do not erode or that the nuts and bolts do not rust.
“For along with every multi-billion kina projects come a flood of social and economic evils.
“We must be able to guard against the temptations to spend quick and fast today and forget our future generations.
“We must be able to spot and resist fly-by-night conmen and wheelers and dealers of that sort.
“We must guard against drugs, alcohol and prostitution.”
The BSA is only a visionary statement.
It charts out the development prescriptions as the direct outlays of the PNG LNG project.
However, the realisation or fulfilment of the BSA is variable of many factors, thus, hangs on like a bridge over river.
Remember, river floods and they can bring down even newly constructed bridge.
What Mr Agiru says is that the bridge must be nurtured and its (BSA) notable intentions respected and honoured.
Likewise, the licence-based BSA (LBBSA) will soon be signed by the project area landowners.
The LBBSA is no different to the BSA prescriptions.
Both are indispensable.
The development prescriptions entailed in the BSA and LBBSA will be funded by the Government through its budgetary process, which will then be translated to the MoA funding.
Therefore, the MoA is the major source of funding that will deliver the development projects.
However, Mr Agiru clearly cautioned the potential dangers that lay ahead.
He reminded landowners to be watchful of fly-by-night conmen of that sort.
For example, recently, K180 million of MoA funds were dished out to individuals from Hela and Kutubu.
The funds were deposited into individual bank accounts and drawn down in a matter of days.
These individuals must account to the people of Hela, Moran and Kutubu.
This is exactly what Mr Agiru predicted and cautioned.
Whether the Kokopo BSA and LBBSA will be a success or failure lies squarely in the hands of each and every educated elite of Hela.
Mr Agiru has done his bit.
So let’s not use the money that Mr Agiru has secured to play politics.
The people of Hela must put their trust in Mr Agiru.