Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has commended the people of Papua New Guinea for celebrating the country’s 48th Independence Anniversary in its true spirit and without trouble.

The Prime Minister said he has received reports of massive celebrations right across the country from Bougainville to the western-most parts of the country, of Papua New Guineans participating in the right spirit and manner.

He said: “I want to commend all our people far and wide, right across the country, for the big turnouts in our urban centres and government stations yesterday to join in celebrating our country’s 48th Independence anniversary. From reports I received, it was excellent. I want to thank you for your zeal, patience and love for our country.

“We have all endured many challenges over the 48 years as a nation, but going forward, I want to reassure you all that our prospect as a nation looks good. I am optimistic for the future.”

Prime Minister Marape once more explained why he was not present at the Independence Hill flag raising ceremony yesterday as it was his Sabbath observance.

“Instead of being at Independence Hill, I was meditating and praying as a Sabbath keeper by putting our country first in my worship to God, our Creator.

“Let me assure you all that I remain true and loyal to the work of our country as I remain loyal in my faith in God. I do not waver in any of my convictions.

“To those who pray on the Sabbath or on Sundays, let us continue to pray for our country.”

The Prime Minister continued by urging Papua New Guineans to observe the Rule of Law and to engage in money-making enterprises to support the growth of the PNG economy.

“As echoed by the Treasurer on Independence Hill yesterday, my number one message is that we must all work and get our hands dirty for our country wherever God has placed us. Because it is only together that we can change PNG for the better.

“Just like we were united on Saturday for our country, let us unite for PNG as we start to face our 49th year and approach our 50th anniversary.”

PM Marape said the Government is continuing to work at growing the economy, and holistically in the various sectors of development.

In Law & Justice sector, the Government is building up the strength of the police force; expanding the judiciary with more judges; better funding the magisterial services; restructuring the court system to allow for a better workflow; and fighting corruption head-on with the Independent Commission Against Corruption now up and running.

In the Education sector, the Marape-Rosso Government continues to integrate pushed out young people back into the education system through its second-chance learning programs as it has already done so over the last four years with over 80,000 young Papua New Guineans. This is continuing as the Government looks at mobilizing and engaging the youth in a National Youth Service program and pathways into higher learning and employment or self-employment.

In the Health sector, two important specialist facilities are now established in-country at the Port Moresby General Hospital. The heart facility is now in full operation while the cancer facility is expected to open by the end of the year. This provides the avenue to Papua New Guineans for specialist treatment in the country instead of travelling abroad.

In the Infrastructure sector, the Government continues to open up the country in all areas right into the remotest parts with an objective of full connectivity for all Papua New Guineans. Roads give a good base for the connectivity to wharves, power supply and telecommunications. These are all captured under the Government’s Connect PNG program focus. 

“These are the work we are doing for our country in a holistic manner, and I want to assure everyone that your government is totally at work.

“We are focused not just in infrastructure work but also in the restructure of our government and how we carry our country onwards after 50 years.

“I pledge to you all my fullest commitment for the betterment of our country. At no point have I ever wavered nor will I do so,” said Prime Minister Marape.