The National, Monday 20th August, 2012
MEMBER for Markham and Minister of Housing and Urbanisation Paul Isikiel said he will soon investigate financial dealings of the department in past years.
During a low-key welcome reception organised by the employees of the National Housing Corporation at the Taurama Leisure Centre Port Moresby, last Friday, Isikiel told departmental heads and staff that so much money had been allocated by successive government in the past but little had been done by the department to show its value.
“The government allocated K244 million in last year’s budget for housing projects but how much of that allocations have been secured and translated in to housing projects is a question that needs answering,” Isikiel said.
He said he was not clear why the Waigani Hostel owned by the National Housing Corporation was undervalued at K11 million when the market value was K37 million.
He said he would have zero tolerance for complacency and told the staff and management to take that as an early warning and perform to expectations their required task and duties.
“Everyone must be reminded that no one is indispensable as we all have a duty to make an impact and contribution towards our nation building.”
He said housing was a dire need for all citizens as a nation’s wealth was measured by the quality of accommodation and “that showcases our responsibility towards nation-building.”
In reply to a statement made earlier by corporation director Tarcissius Muganaua that the department was working on some new initiatives that would need political support to make it workable, Isikiel said:
“Management, why create another entity like the National Housing Estate when National Housing Corporation is financially struggling and depending on monthly rental collections to meet its operational cost?”
Isikiel said that this was the tip of the iceberg and in the coming months he and the corporation management would collectively work together to “open the can of worms.”