SOMARE SAYS 2010 WAS A GOOD YEAR FOR PNG

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Political stability, economic improvement cited

By Gabriel Fito

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 5, 2010) – The government has worked hard to begin addressing years of neglect of capacity building last year because of the current political stability and improved economic situation.

In his New Year address to the nation at the weekend, sidelined Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare said 2010 had been a good year both economically and politically for Papua New Guinea.

Sir Michael said there had been significant changes in infrastructure, business and other developments because the country now had enough money for projects that people had been deprived of in the last 35 years due to insufficient funding.

He said with the current political stability, there had been good markets globally for commodities such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, copper and gold.

Sir Michael said the government would also be looking at increasing manpower for police, soldiers, teachers, nurses and doctors to fill the vacancies created by ongoing development.

In East Sepik, K14 million had been appropriated for the Yawasoro police housing scheme to commence this year.

Sir Michael also revealed the government’s plan to build a new Wewak Hospital which the Japanese government would fund and the building of seawall from Moem Barracks to Wom village on the west coast of Wewak by European Union.

He said the people of East Sepik had also seen tangible developments like the New Wewak Market, ice plant and jetty project, the stadium, sealing of Wewak town roads and highways and construction of new roads to remote areas.

Sir Michael said it has been the same story for other provinces which had also witnessed development because the government had diverted millions of kina to all districts for development purposes.

The Prime Minister challenged Papua New Guineans to forget their past and work hard in the new year to set a standard in education, business, infrastructure development "and everything we do as proud citizens of this country."

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