Naru streamlines PMVs

National, Normal

The National, Friday 26th April 2013


WESTERN Highlanders living in Lae will not be evicted immediately but they will lose more than 98% of their urban public motor vehicle permits.

That is the edict of Morobe Governor Kelly Naru following the horrific death of seminary student Kewa Michael in Lae last weekend.

Kewa was allegedly thrown out of a moving PMV bus by some men from Western Highlands as he was trying to stop them from molesting several female passengers. 

The bus is owed by a Western Highlander and operates on the Back Road route.

Naru said: “Eviction is a far-reaching demand and my government will carefully study the legal, social and economic implications before coming to a decision.” 

He added that the issue of PMV permits was a provincial executive council policy directive issued on March 5 this year to the land transport board.

“I will push for its urgent implementation at the transport board meeting tomorrow (today),” Naru assured deputy governor Morokoi Gaiwata and chairman of Morobe peace and good order committee Peter Namus after receiving a petition given by the Morobe people yesterday.

Known as the “Quota Allocation”, it will introduce a 60/40 PMV permit allocation system where 60% will be reserved for Morobeans to operate PMVs and the remaining will go 10% each to the four regions.

For the Highlands region, their 10% will be split evenly between the six provinces which narrow it to slightly under 2% per province. 

“I can’t sit by and watch my people being victimised, suppressed and marginalised any longer.” 

“My government will be proactive even if accused of discrimination,” Naru said, describing his decision as “positive discrimination”. 

“It is to enable a level playing field for the oppressed Morobeans to participate in an equal and equitable commercial sector.”  

“It is only fair play,” Naru declared. 

He said his government has been working on rectifying a gross imbalance in the economic and commercial participation in Morobe.

“Consecutive governments (provincial) have been all talk and no action but my government will follow talk with action,” he said.

The governor announced that a seed capital of K2 million was parked with the National Development Bank (NDB) and an agreement would be signed with the bank next week.

“I urge all Morobeans interested in participating in small and medium enterprises to draw from that fund,” Naru said. 

Morobe provincial government is also pushing for a ‘one man one block’ policy to enable more local landownership in the city of Lae.

“Unless you have an existing adjacent block that is amalgamated, no man or company is entitled to more than one block.”

Naru also issued a stern warning to individuals and companies who have acquired land through scrupulous deals. 

“When the new provincial lands board is gazetted we will look into all land acquisitions and those found to have entered scrupulous deals will be exposed and deposed accordingly,” he said.