Works department lacks funds for roads, says minister

Main Stories

WORKS Minister Michael Nali says the department has no funds to build or maintain roads in the country.
“I have to be honest with you that I can’t help you build your roads,” he said when opening the Central plant and transport board and the upgrading of nine roads in Central at Launakalana in Rigo, on Monday.
“I can’t make any promises to give you false hope.
“The country is facing financial hardship so I can’t make commitments. So here I am. Minister for Works with no money.
“Coming to Rigo and looking at road infrastructure as the Works minister, I have no good news for you.
“Building roads is something I love doing.
“For the last two years that I have been the Works minister, I have not built a road using State money.
“I don’t think I have maintained a road in PNG.
“Yes we have done the Highlands Highway but it was with K3 billion that was borrowed from the Asian Development Bank.
“And we have done only phase one with K1 billion. We still have stages two and three to go with another K2 billion. And then you look at Magi and Hiritano Highways in the Central, New Britain Highway to link up East and West New Britain, Ramu Highway, Sepik Highway and other national highways through the country I have visited all these roads and I can’t do anything.
“It is a sad state of affairs.
“We have lot of roads that need to be maintained. We have links that need to be built.”
Nali said the department needed an annual budget of K2 billion to maintain and build roads.
“My budget annually is supposed to be about K2 billion.
“If I have that money, I guarantee you, we would have some good roads.
“I don’t get that kind of money.
“The most we get is about K600 million from the Finance Department. But that money hardly comes out.”
Nali said given the shortfall, it was on MPs and governors through their annual district and provincial support grants to fix roads.
He commended Central Governor Robert Agarobe for his commitment to maintaining road infrastructure in the province.

Leave a Reply