The National – Wednesday, February 16, 2011
WITH the recent announcement by the then acting prime minister Sam Abal to provide East Sepik with another K50 million for specific projects, I wish to request the government to provide an audit report if the huge grants given to the province in mid-2005 following an NEC meeting in Wewak.
The 2005 development package announced after the NEC meeting was in the vicinity of K650 million.
From what I know, six years since the development grant was awarded, there is nothing to show that some high impact, life-transforming projects have been undertaken in the province.
East Sepik remains neglected and unaffected by major developments around PNG.
With the exception of some aid funded projects in Wewak town, such as the stadium, the new market and the uncompleted storm water project, East Sepik remains as one of, or the least developed province.
Previous governments and the current government have nothing to show for the development of the province, since independence.
All existing infrastructures and the Sepik highway were built during the colonial era. Most of these infrastructures are dilapidated and, regretfully, remain run-down.
It is now sadly obvious that the province has transgressed deep into poverty, wide spread anarchy due to alcohol related law and order problems and other social ills.
Much of this depressed state of affairs is attributed to a serious leadership crisis, at the LLG level, due to the collapse of the council system, a dysfunctional provincial government and lack of collaboration and coordination by the MPs on development issues affecting ESP.
The province has no develop plans and has not developed a rolling five year plan over the past decade.
This sad reality will render ESP as one of the least developed provinces, based on the current trends and the national development index, by province.
The Sepik image on the national level is not impressive.
Sepik leaders from the prime minister down have been accused by leaders and people from other provinces as being primarily responsible for the lack of development in PNG, nepotism relating to high level appointments of government officials and corruption of all kinds.
Also included in this list is the public’s perception that leaders are above the law especially concerning pending leadership issues under the Leadership Code, which have now been protracted before the juridical system.
Based on these public statements, I would not be surprised that Sepiks may be in for a long rough, negligent payback ride, in any future PNG government, presided over by significant others.
Max H Rai,