Prime Ministers Media Releases

NATIONAL GOVERNMENT & ABG SIGN MOA ON DISPENSATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS

The National Government and Autonomous Bougainville Government have signed a Joint Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on the Dispensation of Constitutional Requirements relating to the Process of Transfer of Functions and Powers pursuant to Section 295 of the National Constitution.  

The MoA was signed by Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Hon. James Marape and President of Bougainville Hon. Ishmael Toroama.

The two Leaders acknowledge that the establishment of the autonomy arrangements in Bougainville was a new journey for both governments and that there were expected challenges to be faced along the way.

Chief among these challenges is the issue of drawdown of powers process. Over the years, two autonomy reviews have been done to analyze how the drawdown process has been implemented since the formation of the first Bougainville Government in 2005, and a key finding was that the process itself has been happening at snail’s pace.  

Going forward under this new Agreement, the two leaders agree that the requirements under Section 295(a)&(b) of the National Constitution, irrespective of whether a specific request was made or not by the Bougainville Government since the establishment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, are now dispensed with, effective as of this day.

In particular, the removal of certain steps that have been seen as a hindrance to the implementation of the drawdown process in the past. This includes the dispensation of the ABG’s need to assess its capability to operate the function or power. The issuance of a 12 months’ notice to the National Government will no longer be required, and funding issues must not be seen as an obstacle to the National Government allowing the transfer of a power to the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Furthermore, the Autonomous Bougainville Government will have the power to legislate on any, or all, of those areas or powers under Section 290.

However, the Sharp Agreement will ensure that the National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government consult to continue to implement ongoing transition plans.

As the two sides prepare to enter into the first Joint Consultations over the result of the Bougainville referendum, it is critical that all outstanding autonomy implementation issues be separated and dealt with at the administrative level to ensure full focus of the two executive governments when consultations over the referendum result begins this month.

The Agreement provides this much needed separation and repeals the existing Memorandum of Understanding on the Overarching Framework for the Transfer of Functions and Powers from the National Government to the Autonomous Bougainville Government Pursuant to the Bougainville Peace Agreement 2017.

The two leaders reaffirmed their joint commitment and focus on the forthcoming Consultations and will have continued support to maintain and strengthen PNG and Bougainville relationships at all levels.

 

Hon. James Marape                                                               Hon. Ishmael Toroama

Prime Minister                                                                      President

Government of Papua New Guinea                                         Autonomous Bougainville Government

 

MOROBE PROVINCE SEEKS GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR ITS “TRIPLE 1 POLICY”

The Morobe Provincial Government has reached out to the National Government to support its proposed “Triple 1 Policy” a policy initiated by Governor Hon. Ginson Saonu, MP.

Last Friday, Governor Saonu and his team comprising business, technical and policy officials of the Morobe Provincial Administration met with the Deputy Secretary (Policy) of the Department of Prime Minister & National Executive Council, Mr Frank Aisi, at the Policy Division of the Sir Manasupe Haus Building, to discuss and promote this policy initiative and seek policy and advisory support from the Department to progress and implement it.

Mr Aisi represented the Department on behalf of Secretary, Ivan Pomaleu, OBE.

Mr Aisi in welcoming Governor Saonu and his team informed that the primary role of the Department of Prime Minister & NEC was to mainly coordinate and provide oversight to the sectors, departments and agencies on Government policies and initiatives.

In that context, he urged the technical and policy officers of the Morobe Provincial Government to adhere to and follow established Government processes when submitting project proposals such as the “Triple 1 Policy” to the National Government. This would include due diligence and legal clearance before seeking National Executive Council endorsement.

In his response, Governor Saonu mentioned that “Agriculture and Fisheries in Aviation” is the policy framework for the “Triple 1 Policy” and his Provincial Administration had been working in close consultation with the key departments and agencies to develop the policy to ensure its feasibility.

He added that focusing on the Agriculture, Fisheries and Aviation Sectors was vital to realizing his aspiration to create market access for rural farmers and their local produce for export to the domestic and lucrative international markets such as Asia and Europe through a properly coordinated aviation service.

To ensure successful delivery of the Policy, the Governor and his officers informed of the need to improve infrastructure such as roads and rural airstrips nationally, including a Proposed Cargo Terminal Warehouse, at Nadzab International Airport.

Governor Saonu also informed that he would be proposing for a name change of Nadzab to Somare International Airport, as the name had a global appeal and historic attachment to development of Papua New Guinea.

“As for the facility, it would serve as a central storage facility for quarantine clearance, food distribution and processing for direct transportation of the agricultural and fisheries produce to international markets.

“Apart from Morobean farmers, the project would expand to include market access for the farmers in the surrounding areas and the Highlands provinces.”

In that context, Governor Saonu mentioned that the support of the Department of Prime Minister & NEC including relevant departments such as Agriculture, Fisheries, Civil Aviation and Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and potential Development Partners was crucial in realizing the project.

He further informed of the need for the project to be managed and controlled by an Independent Authority to ensure effective coordination and transparency in terms of managing and administering its annual proceeds to the Morobe Provincial and the National Governments.

In his response, Deputy Secretary Aisi informed that the above policy initiative resonates well with the current Government’s policies to grow the economy but required a consultative and Whole-of-Government approach with the relevant sectors, departments and agencies to ensure its successful delivery.

Furthermore, he urged the Governor and his delegation to submit the above project proposal to the Department of National Planning and Monitoring for consideration and funding under the 2022 Public Investment Program (PIP) and Development Budgets respectively.

With regards to development partner assistance, Deputy Secretary Aisi urged all provincial governments including that of Morobe Province to establish units within their respective structures to ensure constant liaison and collaboration/coordination with the relevant authorities, especially the National Planning Department to effectively draw- down on counterpart funding for development projects in their provinces.

PRIME MINISTER MARAPE PRIORITISES BOUGAINVILLE IN APPOINTMENT OF VICE MINISTER

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP says the appointment of the Regional Member for Bougainville Peter Tsiamalili Jnr as Vice Minister for Bougainville Affairs is to continue the National Government's priority to ensure lasting peace and political settlement is reached on the Island.

PM Marape said this when witnessing the swearing in of Mr Tsiamalili as Vice Minister Assisting the PM on Bougainville Affairs by Governor General, Sir Bob Dadae at Government House on Tuesday (11/05/21).

Peter Tsiamalili Jnr was recently elected as the Regional Member for Bougainville.

PM Marape said Mr Tsiamalili Jnr is not new to the Public Service and political structure in Waigani.

“He has been head of the PNG Sports Foundation for a few terms but as he comes into Parliament as Regional Member for Bougainville he will be Vice Minister assisting me over overseeing Bougainville matters.

“As Prime Minister I have the portfolio of the Ministry of Bougainville Affairs, but I will be delegating all functions and care to him so we remain focused on what we need to do for Bougainville.

“We now are in an important stage of our consultation process with the people of Bougainville and the Autonomous Government of Bougainville and his exposure and his experience on both sides gives him the edge as Vice Minister for Bougainville going forward,” said the Prime Minister.

The appointment also comes at the back of the upcoming Post-Referendum consultations this month prior to the Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) Meeting next month.

The ABG and PNG Technical Team comprising leaders and technical experts will meet in Kokopo, East New Britain province later this month for the Governmental Consultation process on agenda issues concerning the Post-Referendum consultations to be tabled before the JSB Meeting.

The JSB is scheduled to be held in Wabag, Enga Province next month where both Prime Minister Marape and ABG President, Ishmael Toroama including other senior leaders are expected to attend.

PM Marape has reiterated that the National Government has heard the voices of the Bougainvilleans, when the referendum results were presented to the Governor-General last year and that the two governments must now develop a roadmap that leads to lasting political settlement.

The Prime Minister’s commitment to ensuring the Bougainville Peace Agreement is implemented and the appointment of Peter Tsiamalili comes as the National Government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have co-signed a Post-Referendum consultation project agreement to support the consultation process on the outcomes of the referendum.

The results of the referendum are non-binding, meaning the two governments will further consult and discuss and come up with a view that will be endorsed by the National Parliament.

Meanwhile, PM Marape told Media that there will be no Cabinet reshuffle in the meantime.

“There is no need for it but again it is performance based going forward and if a natural vacancy is created then of course there are many capable leaders in our Government stock today to fill any vacancies as a result of any reshuffle,” he said.

He said there have been 11 funded Parliamentary Secretaries or Vice Ministers positions and all have now been filled. The six newly appointed Vice Ministers are:

Bougainville Regional MP, Peter Tsiamalili Jnr as Minister Assisting PM on Bougainville Matters; Kairuku-Hiri MP, Peter Isoaimo as Vice Minister for Treasurer; Ijivitari MP, Richard Masere as Vice Minister assisting the PM on foreign investments to PNG; Angoram MP, Sailo Wapo as Vice Minister for Public Service; Kokopo MP, Emil Tammur Jnr comes in as Vice Minister for National Planning; and Rai Coast MP, Peter Sapia is Vice Minister for Mining.

PM Marape said some critics will argue on the appointments when the elections are around the corner, but eleven vice-ministerial portfolios have been always there and are funded positions.

He said two years ago his Pangu party lead team took over the former O’Neill regime, which was riddled with corruption, recklessness and was a careless government and his government is trying to fix all that in preparation for the major upcoming events like the Election 2022 and other key foreign economic investment programs despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

PM Marape commends Paradise Foods for downstream processing

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP, has commended the board, management and staff of Paradise Foods Ltd for taking on the Government’s call for increased downstream processing in the country.

PM Marape was impressed with the downstream processing of locally-grown cocoa when he visited Paradise Food's Queen Emma Chocolate Factory in Port Moresby today.

He said Papua New Guinea did not have many industries which were into downstream processing.

“I have seen the present board and management’s response to the Government’s focus to ensure that all manufacturers in the country go into downstream processing and start exporting finished products,” PM Marape said.

“We want to go into downstream processing to satisfy our local market as well as export to economies around us.

“Our economy is privileged to have access to 60 per cent of the world’s economies through our network with APEC, and also with the country’s accessibility to markets in the Pacific and Asia.”

PM Marape said he was a strong advocate of downstream processing of our natural resources, including agricultural products, and was looking forward to working with his ministers to provide conducive fiscal policies supporting downstream processing.

He said downstream processing would also open up local markets for farmers to supply manufacturers with organic ingredients.

PM Marape said he was privileged to visit a business that had operated for more than 75 years in the country with no political interference or support.

“Today, it brings me great satisfaction not only to witness what they are producing, but to find a work environment that is inclusive and sensitive to our Papua New Guinean culture and the way we want our citizens to be employed and given due care,” he said.

PM Marape thanked the board and management of Paradise Foods for their continued presence in the country.


Chief Executive Officer of Paradise Foods, James Rice, said the company produced about 12 million Em Nau Biscuits every month to cater for the demand of the people right across the country.

The biscuits are made and packaged in the Lae and Port Moresby plants for sale to wholesalers and retailers.

Mr Rice said despite COVID-19, they were able to create 175 new jobs for Papua New Guineans last year.

He said the company was now looking into sourcing all their ingredients in-country.

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