By: PNG Business News March 16, 2023

Photo: James Marape

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says the Pangu Pati-led Government he leads has “total belief and sees great value” in the provincial government system.

PM Marape said this on Monday, March 13, 2023, at the end of the two-day Governors’ Meeting in Port Moresby.

“We subscribe to decentralisation – which is deeply entrenched in our Constitution. That is the reason why our nation remains together,” he said.

“In the midst of many challenges, 47 years on, we now have the Special Region of Bougainville under autonomy, we have many performing provinces who want to be functionally autonomous, we also have some provinces who in terms of their internal revenue are weak.

“How do we balance this conversation so that the system and structures of government we set up do not become impediments, but assist in service delivery to the masses of our people? At the moment, as we speak, 80 per cent of our people remain in the provinces and districts.

“Recognising the importance of the provincial government system, and the functions they have, the National Government came in this afternoon to give respect to them.”

PM Marape said Minister for Inter-Government Relations, Hon. Soroi Eoe, would take recommendations of the Governors to the Government.

“This is so that, together with the Governors, we can tailor make a system that is complementary to National Government in as far as service delivery and ensuring our people are better served going forward,” he said.

The Prime Minister commended the Governors for coming together in a bipartisan approach, whether in Government or Opposition, to make decisions for the good of the people.

“This all leads on to our nation celebrating 50 years of independence. By September 16 this year, we hope to have total clarity on what are the roles, responsibilities and functions of provincial government, national government, districts and local level governments,” he said.

“We hope to be expeditious in the way and manner in which we do business to deliver services to our people.”

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