The National, Tuesday 21st August, 2012
SIR Mekere Morauta formally handed over last Friday the ministerial responsibility for public enterprise and state assets to the new Minister Ben Micah who was appointed minister for Independent Private Business Corporation upon his election to parliament.
The simple hand-over ceremony was held at the IPBC board room.
Sir Mekere congratulated Micah on his election to parliament and appointment as minister.
In a remark, Micah noted that he, Sir Mekere and IPBC managing director Thomas Abe had a long association with public enterprises and related policy issues.
“When IPBC was created in 2002 by Sir Mekere, I was the head of its predecessor organisation, the Privatisation Commission,” he said.
“Sir Mekere was my minister, responsible for the wide-ranging reforms that were undertaken in the public sector.
“Mr Abe was a privatisation commissioner, before going on to become head of the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission, which was also created as part of those reforms.
“So we all know the issues involved and how important they are to the future of Papua New Guinea.
“In the past 12 months Sir Mekere has laid the groundwork for more reform and rehabilitation of IPBC and its public enterprises.
“I would like to thank him for what he has achieved in that short time, and I assure him that I will be pushing reform and rehabilitation equally vigorously.
“Public enterprises play a critical role in the delivery and essential services and infrastructure to the people of Papua New Guinea.
“It is clear than they have not been performing.
“Service delivery standards have been declining and public infrastructure is crumbling around us.
“That is not acceptable to the O’Neill Government, and it is certainly not acceptable to our citizens.”
Micah promised to crack the whip to make sure IPBC provide reliable and affordable services expected by the public.