THE Southern Highlands province has been exporting oil and gas for the past 20 years but there is nothing in the province to show for it, deputy Governor Pr Isaac Joseph said.
Speaking to a huge crowd at Nipa district last week, Pr Joseph, who is also Mendi MP, said people’s attitude was partly to blame.
While delivering a K1.5 million cheque for the construction of the Nipa district office, he said more services
would come if people changed their behaviour and attitude.
He said the K1.5 million was part of a K3.5 million committed by the provincial government under the leadership of Governor Anderson Agiru.
Mr Agiru also allocated a K500,000 cheque for Nipa Secondary School rehabilitation under the RESI programme.
The money was presented to local contractor Pesap Builders Ltd.
The district office would be built by Nationwide Construction Ltd.
“The government is never broke, it will put money and build infrastructure where people are prepared to look after it,” he said.
Pr Joseph said Nipa would become a town of its own as approved by the government under the LNG Benefits Sharing Agreement (BSA).
Provincial administrator William Pow said as Hela province moved away, the rest of Southern Highlands would have to find their own means of survival.
“We are not going to have a big budget like we have now, so the onus is on the people to decide our destiny.” He also urged them to turn to agriculture.