MRA clarifies claims by MP

National, Normal

The National, Monday 23rd January 2012

THE Mineral Resources Authority has said the government, through
the Department of National Planning, is responsible for funding the Lihir and Simberi memorandum of agreements (MoA).
Responding to statements in the media by Namatanai MP Byron Chan, managing director Kepas Wali said the authority came into existence four years ago while the Lihir and Simberi commitments
with the national government had been in existence for the past 15 years.
Wali said during that period, Chan was Member for Namatanai Open for 10 years and Governor Sir Julius Chan had been prime minister when the agreements were signed.
He said they were in a position to implement these projects as MPs who approved funding in the national budget. 
“Social services grant (SSG) and infrustructure development grant (IDG) funds are remitted directly to New Ireland provinvial government from the Department of National Planning each year and not through MRA and if there is anyone who needs to explain why projects are not implemented then it is the NIPG and the Member for Namatanai as they are the recipient of the funds not MRA or myself,” he said.
“The funds administered by MRA are public investment programme (PIP) funds and each mining province gets their own allocations. 
“The funds used in New Ireland are New Ireland allocations and not Panguna or Wafi Golpu. 
“PIP funds for Ramu are spent on building eight police houses at Usino-Bundi and construction of the Danagari Road. 
“Funds for Hidden Valley were spent on building a two-storey classroom at Grace Memorial Secondary School, Wau police station renovations and two vehicles for police at Bulolo and magistrate at Bulolo. 
“Porgera funds are remitted directly to the Porgera Special Authority as per the MoA agreement for the upkeep of roads, schools and Paiam Hospital.”