By GYNNIE KERO
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill aims to drive from his village in Ialibu, Southern Highlands, to Kikori, in Gulf, when the Highlands Highway opens in January.
He told governors from the 22 provinces around the country who were meeting at Wabag, in Enga, on Friday that work on the highway connecting Southern Highlands to Gulf would begin in two months’ time.
It will mean people can travel by road from the Highlands region to Gulf then onwards to Port Moresby – and vice versa.
The governors during their meeting on Thursday had also raised their concern over the state of the Highlands Highway and the law and order issues in the provinces.
O’Neill stressed the need for people to change their mindsets and improve their lives.
“Our parents didn’t tell us life will be easy,” he said.
“If you want to feed yourself, you have to work the land. Be constructive.
“Don’t smoke marijuana, chew betel nut or go on Facebook and expect food to arrive at your home. Nothing is easy.
“You don’t see me go to Facebook, open an account and get mad over someone. I am not born to do small things, I am not born to gossip about anyone. I am born to deliver and I will continue to deliver.”
O’Neill was in Wabag for the signing of the declaration of autonomy for Enga, and spoke highly of the province’s rapid development in the past six years.
“As a government, we are proud of the developments,” he said. “We are now building the multi-million kina hospital project here. We’ve also built the Enga College of Nursing, teachers’ college and many others.”
He said the signing of the decentralisation documents meant the transfer of more powers to the province.
“The Government recognises there are some provinces leading with the developments of services. Government officers assessed this and said we must give them more powers. That’s why we are doing it. It’s not politics.”
He said Enga had a “strong governor, and strong administration”.
“That is why the Government is supporting Enga.”
By GYNNIE KERO