The National, Thursday October 17th, 2013
By CLEMENT KAUPA
IF not idling in a trust account in Lae, then where is the K100 million allocation this year for the Lae city roads rehabilitation programme (LCRRP)?
Works Minister Francis Awesa said earlier this month that the money was in a trust account in Lae.
But Morobe Governor Kelly Naru says it is not and acting Morobe administrator Geoving Bilong backed the governor when he said last week that his administration had no knowledge of such an amount allegedly idling in Lae.
Certainly, if one is to go by Awesa’s statement, the funds are not in Port Moresby either.
But if they are, then there is an implication that a cabinet minister is not being given the right information on very important departmental matters.
But distractions aside, the critical questions that beg immediate answers are: Where is the K100 million? How much of it is left? Who is managing it?
To state the obvious, it is a lot of money that has apparently disappeared into thin air between the capital and Lae.
So many questions are being asked and Awesa, or his acting Works Secretary David Wereh, would do well to institute an inquiry into where the money is.
Hopefully, such a process will provide the answers.
The people, businesses and industries of Lae and Morobe have reached the end of their tether in the long and controversial LCRRP journey.
All they want is good, dependable city roads delivered promptly to eliminate the extremely high cost of vehicle maintenance and acute discomfort from driving through pothole-riddled roads.
Two prominent residents, former senior policeman Giosi Labi, and businessman Philip Tep, have voiced exasperation over the suggestion that the K100 million is on holiday in Lae while roadworks are stalled.
Both men are incredulous that such a huge amount of money is sitting idle while motorists in Lae are forced to shoulder the high bills for the high rate of wear and tear on their vehicles because of the poor roads.