The National, Tuesday July 16th, 2013
I SUPPORT Hela Governor Anderson Agiru in commending Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s policy initiatives that target and promote rural development.
The government’s increased funding for education, agriculture development, promoting small business entrepreneurs through the SME policy framework and encouraging districts and local government empowerment and engagement are all geared towards addressing the development needs and aspirations of the rural masses who make 85% of the population.
It is true that there are serious impediments and barriers, but it is worth trying rather than just talking.
The free education policy stands to support the education of future leaders and the workforce of this country.
The agriculture policy stands to actively engage the rural population to meaningfully develop customary lands.
The increased funding to local level governments would go a long way in grassroots development such as roads, bridges, airstrips, schools, health centres and aid posts.
Although the funding may be small, it is sufficient to upgrade and uplift the face of these rural-based, but essential, service delivery agents and facilities in time provided it is consistently disbursed.
There are many communities engaged in self-sustaining community development initiatives through the public-private partnership models and other stakeholders now actively engaged in community empowerment and development.
The SME policy initiatives are also steps in the right direction as they will encourage small entrepreneurs and promote small-scale business development.
They have been left to fend for themselves without any sustained government support and policy push for a long time. This is the first time the Government is taking the responsibility to encourage small business concerns in PNG.
I commend Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru for standing up for the country and urge the Government to support the SME framework.
I also thank Agiru for his leadership in mapping out the big picture for Hela’s development.
The Huawei hydroelectricity project, when delivered, will be the launching pad for Hela’s development as a dependable electricity supply will encourage business startups.
In many ways, the project will set the stimulus for small to medium-term business development opportunities for Hela.
The people urge our MPs to rally behind the prime minister so that good policies are delivered during his term.