PNG not better off, says Basil

National, Normal

The National

EMPTY coke cans and beer bottles can be found in the far remote parts of Papua New Guinea but not medicines that save lives, Bulolo MP Sam Basil told students and staff at the University of Technology (Unitech) in Lae.
Mr Basil was delivering the annual Pukman Katu lecture on the eve of the 34th anniversary of Independence.
Mr Basil said he had no hope of getting the remaining K2 million of the K10 million district services improvement programme fund from
the National Government because of his vocal stance on issues of concern to his people and nation.
He said while the money was due to his Bulolo electorate, he does not believe it will be
released to him by the Government.
Mr Basil gave the staff and students a brief on the development of his electorate and highlighted the many challenges that remain to be tackled in areas such as transport infrastructure, health, education, agriculture ad manpower development.
On mining, Mr Basil told the university community he stood firm in his view that landowners must own everything in their land, from the surface of the land to what lies beneath it such as minerals.
He said only when landowners truly own their resources can we they develop the resources for the benefit of the whole nation.
Mr Basil said despite being rich and blessed with many resources, PNG is no better off 34 years after Independence than before Independence.
“Do not get me wrong because progress is measured in many different ways and certainly opinions will differ depending on who you talk to.
“But let me challenge you a leaders, business executives, bureaucrats and technician of tomorrow. Has our quality of life improved in the last 34 years?
“Have our institutions in health, education, the arts and law and order achieved what they were supposed to in the last 34 years?
“Has infrastructure progressed with what we claim as development, to truly unite our country?” Mr Basil asked staff and students of Unitech.
He told his audience to look around Lae city to find some of the answers  like bad roads that have become a major concern for Lae city residents and businesses.