The National, Monday, May 23, 2011
By STEPHANIE ELIZAH
ACTING Prime Minister Sam Abal on Saturday presented K3 million worth of cheques to Bougainville Affairs Fidelis Semoso for the upgrading and sealing of roads in Bougainville.
One cheque of K2 million was for the Buka ring road and K1 million for the 20km Kokopau to Siera road. Both were presented at Kokopau in Selau constituency of North Bougainville,
This was in addition to K20 million presented in March by Finance and Treasury Minister Peter O’Neill for the Kokopau to Arawa main coastal trunk road which Abal had the honour of launching on Saturday.
Abal, who was heartened by the warm welcome accorded him by Bougainville, said the presentation demonstrated the national government’s commitment to implement most of its project this year.
“Bougainville, we love you, the rest of PNG loves you, this is a token of the government’s desire to make amends. Sorry for the past that has happened but there is that decision to move forward to a brighter future,” he said.
Abal appealed to the people to stand together and take ownership of the impact projects underway for the betterment of the autonomous region.
“Having come here and seen the development changes that have taken place, I agree that you are a resilient people, with vision to rebuild your own region without waiting for assistance. I ask you to continue to work together to build a bright future for yourselves.”
Bougainville Affairs Minister Fidelis Semoso said he hoped the Kokopau to Arawa road project would be completed before 2015 so that the people could travel in comfort to polling venues to vote for either a referendum of independence or continued autonomy for the Bougainville.
“Bougainville will remain an integral part of PNG until our people decide for independence or continued autonomy. We are not lazy people, we are industrious people keen on contributing to regional and nation building,” he said.
Bougainville President John Momis acknowledged the national government support demonstrated through Abal, adding that he was confident the people of Bougainville would become prosperous.
“We have a dream were we will enjoy freedom, good health and education and work with the people of PNG to build this nation, the future looks bright,” he said.