PNG's East New Britain Governor To Push For Provincial Autonomy

Little headway made in past 14 years; Konga pledges to continue effort

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Oct. 5, 2017) – East New Britain Governor Nakikus Konga has told his people that he will push for the province’s autonomy.

Speaking at a gathering in the Lassul-Baining local level government of the Gazelle district last weekend, Konga said: “Autonomy for East New Britain is one of the priorities of my provincial government.

“As the country is aware the push for ENB autonomy has been going on for the past 14 years but with very little headway made.”

Konga said one of the main reasons was there was very little unity and vision among the bodies involved in the process for attaining autonomy status for the provinces.

“I am ready to work with the ENB autonomy committee chairman Sir Ronald ToVue, his team and every other individual and entity involved to see how better we can push this issue.”

Konga conveyed his gratitude to former deputy prime minister and ENB regional MP Sir Leo Dion for the work on autonomy for the province done so far and said he would take the matter on from where Sir Leo left.

He said he would look into the status of the new law that was developed by the Department of Provincial Affairs to facilitate greater power-sharing by the national and other levels of government.

It was developed under the leadership of Sir Leo.

The law is called the Organic Law on Decentralisation and it was designed to provide greater autonomy to ENB and other provinces that are ready to handle more powers.

Konga is meeting with the New Ireland autonomy committee today to discuss a way forward for the two provinces.

New Ireland took up the cause in 2008 under the leadership of former Governor Sir Julius Chan.

The National
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