Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP, told the people of Manus during his address to them that the Marape/Steven Government is all about empowering Papua New Guineans.
“The Marape/Steven Government, our coalition of new leaders is all about empowering Papua New Guineans and ensuring the money from your Province is collected by yourself,” Prime Minister Marape said.
He said use the money collected to continue working and the component of the revenue sent to Waigani will be set aside by the National Government for national impact projects.
“So, your plans for fishing industry projects in the province, I am in support of discussions to build a port and make it big for fishing business to start and become bigger.”
“I am also throwing the plans back to you and asking for discussions for what percentage of revenue should go to you and what should go to the National Government.
The Prime Minister further added that another policy program that the government intends to implement to empower citizens is the establishment of a student loan facility so students can take out loans for tuition fees, empowering them to attend universities or colleges.
“This will take away the burden for school fees for colleges and universities from parents,” he said.
“This scheme will make available money that students can borrow interest free and repay over a long period of time. You can repay the loan in 30 to 40 years’ time.
However, Prime Minister Marape said nothing is free in life. Therefore, he will also give seedlings to parents of those who are utilising the loan scheme to grow and the government will buy back from them.
His government will empower people by supplying cocoa, copra, vanilla and palm oil to enable ordinary Papua New Guineans to start agriculture based businesses and SME’s to support themselves and help the economy of the country to grow.
He said this is because he does not want to teach men and women to become lazy in their own villages by making the government pay for everything without any contributions from the people.
“Laziness will not help us grow and become strong in the future,” the Prime Minister said.
If we do not collect the money that is loaned out, parents will become lazy because they are thinking that the government will pay the school fee with no cost to them.
He said, to make sure people do not because lazy, the government will work in partnership with the people and urged them to work closely with district and provincial governments.