By Anthony Kaybing
The Autonomous Bougainville Government will not condone the blatant misuse of public funds and the level of corruption within its bureaucracy.
ABG President Chief Dr John Momis made this statement in no apologetic terms as he addressed the Bougainville Economic Sectors Meeting this week.
“There are investors who are willing to invest in Bougainville but our public service machinery has to be organised to cater for the needs of these investors; we have to be ready to offer these investors information on the political situation we are in, the economic climate that exists and other feasible ideas that entices the interests on would be investors,” Momis said.
“With our meagre resources some people are so inconsiderate that they are misusing and stealing public funds instead of being productive and taking measures to generate revenue,” Momis said.
It is with this in mind that the Autonomous Bougainville Government will be setting up an Anti-Corruption Task Force that deals with corrupt practices.
“Bougainville is such a beautiful place with very hard working people and yet we allow corrupt practices by neglecting our duties to stop corrupt practices,” he said.
“I am now challenging those in the economic sector to refrain from these practices and utilise your expertise to generate revenue for the common good of the Bougainville people,” Momis added.
Meanwhile the President has instructed the Bougainville Economic Sector Committee to look into alternative means of raising revenue compared to its current resources.
This will address the issues of improved electrification services in government agencies and to the general public and alternative means of electrification, such as renewable energy sources from wind, hydro and solar.
A Commodities Board will be set up to facilitate the issuance of export licenses, as well as a Price Control and Minimum Wage Board to look at the high cost of living.
Momis’ directive also looked at consultations with Bank of South Pacific Management to improve their services and the possibility of inviting other banks and financial institutions into Bougainville.
Another important issue would be to appoint a Chief Collector of Taxes to map all potential business enterprises in Bougainville, set targets in coordination with the ABG’s finance and budget resources, as well as working out a mechanism to tax companies who pay their dues in Port Moresby yet operate in Bougainville.
“We have the power to make all these happen so let us all work together and put aside our differences; let us unite and harness our talents to make Bougainville great again,” Momis said.
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