PNG a rich nation but not enough benefits: Lukara

Islands, Normal

EAST New Britain deputy administrator for policy, planning and evaluation Bernard Lukara says the greatest risk Papua New Guinea faces as a young nation is wealth and richness not being translated into tangible benefits for the people.
“We must therefore be committed to make significant headway to rid corruption at all levels,” he said at the opening of Transparency International Public and Youth forum in Kokopo last week.
Mr Lukara said PNG’s wealth and richness would not translate into benefits and long-term investment towards improving the living standards for our children unless the cancer of corruption was wiped out, especially in high places.
He said there were numerous examples seen daily that pointed to the appalling status of social indicators, “suggesting we are not creating any positive impacts with the opportunities and windfalls being received”.
“It is time to reassess whether the country’s systems of service delivery are working and if at all the resource investments are actually reaching those who badly needed them.”
Mr Lukara said prisons were for those who had flouted the law and must serve time so that they felt they were being punished for their wrong.
“Today the jails are a haven to law breakers because every Christmas or any special occasions, they receive visits from VIPs who put up parties and distribute gifts.
“Prisoners are also allowed to use mobile phones which were previously restricted and some are even enrolled to do studies by correspondence,” he said.