The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has called on the disputed Chair of the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program (PNG-SDP) to resign and respect rules of the program that prevent active politicians holding a position on the board.
PM O’Neill said in addition to the breach of PNG-SDP rules, the known mismanagement of SDP funds, with millions of US Dollars missing, there is no other choice for the Chairman, Sir Mekere Morauta, but to resign.
“SDP funds belong to the children, women and men of Western Province, not the Chairman,” the Prime Minister said. “SDP money is being used to fund Mekere’s mates, who are paid millions of dollars in commissions and consultancy fees.
“People like Mark Davis, his old friend, who is living in luxury in Australia, and all of this paid for by the people of Western Province. “There are lawyers and consultants and other foreigners living high on SDP funds who have no care of feeling for the people of Western Province.
“Under his stranglehold on PNG-SDP he has squandered hundreds of millions of kina on unsustainable projects
“He has not built anything of consequence for the people, just white elephants such as the Daru Port, that was a massive failure.
“He wasted millions of Kina on a mobile communications network that failed and had to be sold to Digicel for a ridiculously written down price.
“This is a man that cannot be trusted with other peoples’ money. “Sir Mekere Morauta was found by the Papua New Guinean and Singaporean Courts to have been acting through questionable practices and he should have resigned some time ago.
“A leader from the Western Province should be the chair of SDP on behalf of their people, not someone with vested financial and political interests.
“Then the legitimate Chair and their Board can decided on how to return this 1.4 Billion US Dollars to the people of Western Province.”
Prime Minister O’Neill dismissed grandstanding by Sir Mekere to intervene in discussions with Land Owners in Western Province.
“This political stunt is shameful for a leader, who as Prime Minister gave immunity to BHP for grand scale environmental damage that is still killing people in Western Province today.
“I can assure him that we do not need his help to manage discussions with Land Owners in Western Province, or with our Land Owners in Hela and Southern Highlands Province.
“We have been mislead many times by people like Mekere with fake-dream propositions that have never benefited the people.
“The issue of equity by Land Owners in LNG areas will be concluded after National Elections when proper identification process has been concluded.
“The agreements made under the UBSA between Land Owners and the Government, signed in Kokopo at the commencement of the LNG project, will be strictly adhered to and honoured.”