Minister for State Enterprise Ben Micah has challenged all State Owned Enterprises to provide decent housing for staff.
Minister Micah said even if it meantthe SOE’s keepingthe dividends to provide housing for staff;the government would welcome such decision.
He made this stand when officiating atthe Ground Be aking Ceremony of Air Niugini’s eight-storey residential tower last Friday.
Whilst thanking Air Niugini for such an outstanding initiative to provide accommodation for pilots and cabin crews,the Minister challengedthe management to provide compulsory housing, even for drivers and cleaners.
The minister pointed out that human resource wasthe most important element of a company.
He challenged boards and management of all SOE to provide housing for all staff.
“SOE workers have to be housed properly. I don’t want to hear anymore SOE workers sleeping in settlements, sleeping with relatives, or sleeping in a half timber half cardboard house,” said Minister Micah.
Minister Micah said even if it meant holding backthe dividends for that purpose.
“Even if we have to keepthe dividend to build institutional houses for staff or go into housing scheme that will guarantee some house and security for the staff, SO Be IT I want to make shelter, which is a basic human need that has been denlied to a lot of Papua New Guineas,” he said.
There was also anther challenge to those contracted to deliverthe housing projects.
“I am sick and tired of announcing housing schemes and doing ground-breaking ceremonies. People have been waiting for houses for so many years; not two or five year, but for over twenty years,” challenged Minister Micah.
The management of Air Niugini said its plans are in line withthe national government’s priority areas.
“It’s timely thatthe minister has mentioned it because we have got it onthe table for planning purposes,” said Air Niugini CEO, Simon Foo.
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