New Britain farmers query missing K3.6m

National, Normal

The National, Monday July 9th, 2012

A SUM of K3.6 million, approved in 2010 for a poultry farming project in East New Britain province, has gone missing, according to a group of farmers.
About 3,000 farmers had been waiting since 2009 to start the project but the money had not reached them.
The funds were committed in 2009 after a copy of the project proposal was given to the Kokopo joint district budget priority and planning committee under the chairmanship of (late) Kokopo MP Patrick Tammur.
Three years on, the farmers are still in the dark as to the whereabout of the K3.6 million and want Elizabeth Konmil, who was organising the
project, to tell them where the money is.
But Konmil said they should not blame her because she had not received any money from the National Planning Department.
She said K3.6 million had been approved in 2010 but “the money was hijacked somewhere in the department”.
“I don’t know where the money is,” she said.
Konmil said she spent nine months in Port Moresby in 2009, six months in 2010 and six months last year “pursuing the money”.
She is in Jiwaka and would return after the general election to Port Moresby.
She urged the farmers to be patient as she had not received any money from the department and was committed to seeing the project begin.
“I am still hanging around in Port Moresby pursuing those funds. Nobody has run away.
“I am a mother and, as a woman, I want to see this happen.”
She said in 2010, they had waited for former national planning minister Paul Tiensten to bring the cheque but he did not.
She partly blamed the hold-up to the continuous government reshuffles and in-fighting.
Konmil said it was good that the farmers were raising their concerns through the media because, hopefully, those responsible would explain the reason for the hold-up.