By Helen Sea – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Gulf Provincial and Local Level Governments as well as the Gulf Provincial Administration recently signed several memorandums of understanding in Kerema.
The MOU’s are with the various state agencies reestablishing operations in the province.
Agriculture revenue regeneration and promoting SME growth are key target areas.
The ceremony was attended by Gulf Provincial and Local level government officials and state agency representatives, with the people of Kerema town.
The five state agencies involved included Investment Promotion Authority, National Development Bank, the Cocoa Board of PNG, Tourism Promotion Authority and the Internal Revenue Commission.
Although a small step, the signing of the MOU s are a significant progress toward restoring government services in the province.
In the 2018 budget, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Charles Abel, encouraged the signing of MOU’s between provincial governments and various organizations.
With that in mind, Commissioner General of the IRC, Betty Palaso, said through the MOUs, tax awareness can be conducted, resulting in tax compliance with business and companies who operate within the province.
The ceremony highlighted the importance for revenue regeneration, agriculture to be re-established in the province with the introduction of the Cocoa Board to partner with local cocoa farmers.
Acting CEO for Cocoa Board of PNG, Tony Vigil, said the Cocoa Board is serious in engaging with the Gulf Province to rebuild the cocoa industry.
Vigil said access to markets is an excuse of the past and challenged the Gulf Governor to take serious of this partnership and see to its fruition.
National Development Bank, General Manager, Credit Schemes, Daniel Wohiembe, said NDB is ready to work closely with the Gulf Provincial Government and Gulf Administration in moving forward by bringing the service down to where the need is, at the level of the people.
The three MOUs signed by NDB and the provincial government and its administration ensures the people of Gulf, the churches and women access to credit financing without having to travel almost six hours into Port Moresby for these services.
Governor Chris Haiveta, said the provincial government’s aim through this initiative is to push for the utilisation of the land through agriculture, business and rural empowerment by launching the services that are lacking, bring back those that have left years ago and gone away and introduce those which the province has never seen.
He said, although the signing of the MOUs’ is a small step, the cooperation between his government and these agencies will result in significant outcomes.