INFRASTRUCTURE and service delivery are tremendous challenges that the Government has yet to overcome, Treasury secretary Simon Tosali said yesterday.
Mr Tosali admitted that even though PNG had experienced strong economic growth in recent years, the Government lagged behind in its obligations to provide infrastructure and service delivery effectively and efficiently to the majority of Papua New Guineans.
He told a roomful of participants attending the public-private partnership (PPP) familiarisation workshop at the Crowne Plaza that most of the infrastructure that was fundamental to development were deemed and unless drastic measures were put in place to address the problem, PNG would not be able to move forward.
“Ports, roads and airports require significant investment,” he said.
“The electricity, water and sanitation sectors need to drastically improve services.
“Without addressing these needs, PNG will never be able to address the economic imbalances in the country and empower our people in the rural areas,” Mr Tosali said.
He said the Government realised that there were a lot of things that it could not do on its own, that it must consider the long term implications of its decisions and as such, had embarked on a partnership with the private sector to ensure that people had access to key services.
“We are looking toward a public-private partnership model as a way of delivering services and improving economic and social infrastructure.
“PPP can significantly enhance the availability of improved public services by increasing the quantity and quality of investments in infrastructure and services delivery.
“PPP can also improve the cost effectiveness and timely provision of infrastructure and services such as public housing, schools, hospitals and transport infrastructure development and maintenance,” he said.
But while PPP remained a viable option for the Government, Mr Tosali noted that they were not the answer to all of the country’s procurement issues and infrastructure development and maintenance problems and as such, remained an option.