The National, Wednesday 22nd August, 2012
THE national government through the Mineral Resources Authority would have spent more than of K16 million on infrastructure maintenance projects in New Ireland province by the end of this year.
The 22 health and education projects are being funded through the 2011-2012 development budget and implemented by the MRA.
Major projects that included renovations were Namatanai rural hospital, 17 public servants’ houses, Konos police station and Lemekot health centre residential houses.
Funds for these projects come from the national government to fulfill its various commitments under the respective mining project memorandums of agreement.
MRA acting managing director Philip Samar said his agency was happy that projects in resource areas such as New Ireland were progressing well and hoped that the people were empowered by the delivery of these projects.
“A total of 22 infrastructure maintenance projects, mainly in the areas of health and education, have been funded over the last 18 months by the national government under its public investment programme (PIP) under the Lihir and Simberi mines in the province,” Samar said.
“I believe that public servants at Konos are now happy living in houses that are of better conditions than what they used to.
“I hope they’re being empowered to perform better at work.
“The review of the Lihir MoA has commenced and I’m confident that the parties will be able to mutually agree to the completion of the major infrastructure projects that have not been attended to under the current MoA.”
He said of the function of the MRA, since its establishment five years ago, was to be responsible for the administration of any public investment programme related to mining and provides assistance to all mining projects in PNG.
Department of National Planning and Monitoring officer Eileen Saiyomina, who visited the project site, said she would prepare a report based on implications on mining PIP budgetary allocations for next year.