ABG owes service providers, seven-day ultimatum announced
30 May, 2018, 3:00 am
BUKA – Service providers in Bougainville that have provided services have not been paid by the Autonomous Bougainville Government over the last six years and have given a seven (7) day ultimatum to the government to respond to them.
A meeting of all service providers that included business houses, simple, Bougainvilleans, former combatants and others that have been donating funds to a delegation negotiating with the National Government for assistance to bail the ABG out of a K15 million(US$4.6 million) debt servicing fund have voiced strongly that over the last 10 years they have become victims of an unproductive government that has misused millions of kina under the pretext of committing funds to implementing programs that have to date never eventuated.
The group said that funds from the National Government have over the years been diverted by the ABG to fund so called members constituency allowances and their unscrupulous deals leaving out genuine claims with no attempt ever been made to settle them, hence resulting in the closing down of small business and creating hardship for the simple people who struggle daily for their survival.
In the meeting over the weekend the service providers said that they want the National Government and particularly Prime Minister Peter O’Neill who is also the Minister for Bougainville Affairs to heed the call of this group that have members spread throughout the three regions of Bougainville to execute payment of the K15 million submission before him to save the ABG from ridicule by the people of Bougainville for failing them over these years.
The group further stated that in light of the continuous political interference and reckless spending by the ABG they have decided to pursue the matter directly with the office of the Prime Minister for reasons that they are citizens of PNG and have the right to approach the Prime Minister as he is also the Minister directly responsible for Bougainville matters.
Joachim Montai who has funded trips for certain ABG Administration officers through an agreement that they made and with donations from others have been funding the negotiation team said some people in the government said he was wasting his time as the National Government would not give any money and now with the K15 million that they are waiting for from the National Government, it must not come through the ABG but the National Government must create a trust account so that they the service providers can access the funds directly.
Montai said he has seen that many funds intended for its purpose have been diverted to other use and one is the recent funds through the National Fisheries Authority has again gone to other use rather than its intended purpose.
Dyson Kaetavara who chaired the meeting said the group is requesting the PM to instruct payment of these monies directly to the individual claimants and that the payment be drawn down from the National level.
The group is giving the Autonomous Bougainville Government a seven-day ultimatum to give a feedback and the ultimatum commences on Monday the 28th of May to the 04th of June and failure for a response from the ABG will result in the shutting down of the PNG Power at Kubu and the locking down of the ABG Administration Office.
A gathering of the group will be on Monday 04 June at Kokopau for their next cause of action if no response is received.