Former Transport Minister and current Minister for Public Service Westley Nukundj MP has proven that he is a man of his word. Much to the delight of the people of the remote village of Lokono, in New Ireland Province, the Minister has delivered a fully outfitted 4X4 truck to the women of the village to assist them in getting their produce to the main market in Kavieng, the provincial capital.
Minister Nukundj made his promise to help the village two months ago during the opening of the Kaut to Lokono road,which he had the honour of launching. The Minister noted at the time that now that the people of Lokono had a decent road with provided access to the Boluminski Highway, and on to Kavieng,it would be of great economic benefit to the people if the women had reliable transport to get their produce to the Kavieng Market. Before he left the ceremony, the Minister promised that he would personally ensure that a truck was provided to the village.
Yesterday the truck was delivered to the women’s group in Lokono Village. Though the Minister was unable to attend the handover ceremony, he was represented by the Governor of the Province, Sir Julius Chan, and a number of other dignitaries. Several speakers at the event expressed great appreciation for the actions of Minister Nukundj.
Handing over the vehicle to ward 6 member Sherllinah Rake, Sir J told the people of Lokono that the event illustrated what good Government stands for, delivering on its word.
“Today will be long remembered by the people of Lokono as a day when a politician acted with honour and compassion. Minister Nukundj has shown that he is a man of his word, and the people of Kaut and Lokono have much to be thankful for.”
Ward Member Rake also thanked the Minister wholeheartedly. “It is very encouraging to meet a man who understands the real needs of the people in remote areas,” she said. “The Minister is not only a man of honour, he is a man who cares about the welfare of the people.”
During the launching Governor Sir J said, “This day will long last in the memory of the people of Kaut and Lokono,a day when the spoken word bore fruit. The Minister has walked the talk and delivered his promise. The New Ireland government also did it’s part by delivering a K3.5million road. Now you can travel between Kaut and Lokono in no time,” said Sir J.
In the lead up to the one day polling Sir J called on the locals to vote for the best candidate that would stand with the New Ireland Government to deliver the Governments policy objectives. “I don’t care who you vote for but just ensure that person will work with the New Ireland Government. There are many rooms in the New Ireland Government and all are welcome,” relayed Sir J.
Sir J also announced that the New Ireland Government will be moving to make the Vice Presidents seat a reserved seat for women only. “This will allow for Gender balance at the LLG level.”This is in line with the Matrilineal culture where women are the boss.
The New Ireland Government is determined to give the LLG’s more Autonomy and has moved to increase approved project funding for Presidents to K200,000 and Ward Members will continue to receive Ward Level funding of K30,000. They will be allowed to make independent decisions and set their own priorities on how the money is spent at the grassroots level.
Meanwhile Sir J cautioned that development also brings with it added problems like law and order issues, thus he called on the people to be mindfull of the influx of people coming into the province, “ We are a friendly and socially responsible Province, but I warn those coming here with the intent to commit crimes, you are not welcome, and will be sent home under the New Ireland Vagrancy Act”