O’Neill leaves a legacy


FORMER Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was the face of PNG, he projected PNG to the world that she can be a force to be reckoned with in the Pacific.
Internally, he had undertaken unprecedented infrastructural developments throughout the nation.
He also lifted crushing burdens and stopped the tears of the bulk of the population of this country through his free education and health programmes.
Today, PNG children and especially girls are all in school.
You don’t get this in most developing countries across the globe.
O’Neill leaves a legacy, a standard by which the value of future prime ministers will be measured.
Having said the above, I welcome James Marape as prime minister. PNG needs energetic young blood to take charge.
While those who polarised the opposite side of O’Neill didn’t offer any real platform for structural socio-economic reforms except to put PNG economy back on track I suggest the Marape government should look into lifting the value of the PNG Kina to K4 against the Aussie or US Dollar.
I think export revenue parked in offshore banks must be stopped and brought back onshore including funds like the PNGSDP held in Singapore.
This will help raise the value of the PNG Kina and ease costs of goods and services in the country.
Marape should immediately embark on an aggressive import substitution path in the agriculture sector – especially for rice and wheat.
Review all extractive sector agreements to give fair and better benefits to the landowners and stop the fly in – fly out arrangements currently in existence so foreign workers spend their pay in the country, enough of cash flowing out of PNG without checks and balances.

Bruce Gigmai

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