O’Neill opens Rabaul microfinance office

National, Normal

The National, Friday 18th November 2011

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday opened the Mataure Rabaul Microfinance Ltd (MRML) office with K700,000 to start its operation.
He also committed K2 million to the Rabaul Open electorate after a request by the Member for Rabaul.
It will be given next year to also maintain the healthy operation of the MRML.
O’Neill also gave K5 million from the government’s commitment of K15 million towards East New Britain’s hosting of the PNG Grassroots Games in November next year.
Another K10 million will be committed through the National Gaming Board to go towards the games.  
He assured the people of Rabaul that the government would continue to support the MRML financially in whatever capacity – either through the Treasury Department or Bank of PNG.
O’Neill said the MRML was a unique way of empowering people and people must increase their wealth within their own communities.
“Microfinance is one of the government’s pillar policies that we want to encourage and continue to put money into,” he said.
He also reminded people that the National Development Bank was there not to make profit but to provide banking services to the people.
“Stop worrying about profits. Make sure you lend money to people at low interest rates for a long time so they can do business in PNG,’’ he said.
“Commercial banks are not our friends. They are not here to give service to our people but only to make profits for their shareholders.”
He said the only agency that could deliver on micro-banking was the NDB and banks that were owned by our people and government.
O’Neill said with microfinance being introduced everywhere in the country, savings must be encouraged.
He was accompanied by Finance and Treasury Minister Don Poyle, Attorney-General and Member for Rabaul Dr Allan Marat, Member for Gazelle Malakai Tabar and Governor Leo Dion.