Leaders: Where’s the money going

Main Stories, National

The National, Monday February 10th, 2014

 A GROUP in Bogia, Madang, wants MP John Hickey (pictured) to explain how he is spending project funds allocated to the district.

The group held two separate meetings last Friday in Madang town and in Bogia.

The meeting in town was led by two local level government presidents who claimed that they were being sidelined by Hickey for questioning a joint district planning and budget priority committee (JDP&BPC) meeting which they were not informed about.

Iabu LLG president Martin Ururu and Yawar LLG president Peter Bariau are leading the group of people who are pressuring Hickey to explain to the people of Bogia why the district was the least developed of all the six districts in the province.

Hickey is the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee looking into the financial accounts of State bodies.

Bariau said: “Why are the people of Bogia continuing to suffer and face hardship? 

“Why is the district run down? 

“We have had enough, you must 

explain to us where you have spent our money. 

“Bogia is not a district anymore.”

They have called on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to replace Hickey as the chairman of the public accounts committee.

However, Hickey has said the pressure group was “all political”.

“This is all politics. 

“Someone is behind these guys telling them to do this and I think I know,” he said

He said Bariau and Ururu were excluded from the last JDP&BPC meeting because they had not been sworn in.

Hickey said the district committee had built 17 aid posts, provided K10 million for road maintenance over a four-year period starting in 2009 and built 200 cocoa fermentaries.

He added that the committee recently completed 2,500 desks for schools, paid K680,000 for a boat for Manam Islanders and many other things for the 372 villages in the district.