The first paragraph of The National’s editorial of last Thursday states that “Districts and provincial development plans should focus on key projects that will improve the quality of life for the people”.
Paragraph 16 of the editorial states that 19 out of 22 provinces and 75 out of 89 districts have submitted their development plans.
Hopefully, the Oro government and its Sohe district are included in the 19 provinces and 75 districts that have submitted their development plans.
Northern and Sohe seem to operate without visions, aims and goals and the results say it all.
Even if they submitted their plans, it would be just for the purpose of meeting the requirements for accessing government funds.
There are many definitions, but I want to look at three meanings of the word development for the purpose of this letter:
- GROWTH, directed change;
- THE application of new ideas to practical problems; and,
- THE art of making some area of land or water more profitable or productive or useful.
Based on these definitions, I think the Oro government should be suspended and a caretaker government should be put in place to look into servicing the debts of service providers.
This is because even though funds have been allocated every fiscal year, there has been no tangible development in the province, even in the last ten years.
There are no new roads to connect parts of the Kokoda and Tamata local level government (LLG) with the existing roads while the Tufi and Safia LLGs remain cut off by road.
People remain poor and are suffering. They are not accessing government services.
Some are dying from preventable diseases.
In November 2016, before the 2017 national elections, about K7m of the provincial government’s funds were believed to have been misused.
I know of two people who got K5,000 and K10,000 in Oro government cheque.
These monies were deposited into their respective personal bank accounts.
As of the second week of July this year, the Oro government’s budget has not been approved by the Treasury Department for some reasons.
It is suspicious that the recurrent funds released late with only five months remaining will be misused for political purposes just as in 2016.
I am appealing to Prime Minister James Marape, who is against corruption, to ensure only part of the funds for the Oro government and Sohe are released after the 2022 elections.
People in Northern should stop complaining and instead, mobilise and do something about the issue of bad leadership in the province.
If nothing is done, we will continue to suffer and our children will continue to drop out of schools due to the low level of the education and become criminals and if the police kill them, it’ll be our fault.