NGOs Raise National ID card Concerns

by Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Port Moresby

A group of NGO’s fear that the state’s National Identification Card (NID) system will not be rolled out to all parts of the Papua New Guinea by 2017.

Their concern is supported by evidence that many provinces are yet to register and the elections are just 16 months away.

According to their investigations, over K240 million was used for the project and, allegedly, some of the money is unaccounted for. 

The NGO’s are now calling on Planning and Monitoring Minster, Charles Abel, to present a financial report on how the money was spent.

In a joint NGO conference yesterday morning, NGO presidents representing registered NGO groups, including Millennium Good Governance and PNG Anticorruption Movement for Change, presented their views on the state’s NID program.

Concerns were raised on how the budgeted K240 million was used to implement the project, as well as the limited time the project team has to register all Papua New Guineans. The groups also questioned the appointment of Acting Secretary for Planning and Monitoring, Hakaua Harry.

Steven Andambo, the Momase regional president for Millennium Good Governance, said Ms Harry currently holds a degree in social work, yet holds a position that requires an economics degree. 

The NGO groups gave the state 14 days to respond to their concerns, starting from yesterday, Monday, 25 May.

This joint conference is the first step NGOs have taken to voice their concerns on issues of national interest. More issues will be discussed in the coming days.

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