ON THE eve of critical talks in Port Moresby, Bougainville president John Momis has said he does not want to hear any more excuses from the PNG national government about its continual denial of outstanding grants to the autonomous province.
This week’s deferred meeting of the high level Joint Supervisory Body which is responsible for PNG-Bougainville relations is to thrash out an issue so vexed that Dr Momis has threatened to take the national government to court.
Dr Momis told EM-TV News last week that he does not want to hear any more excuses from the PNG government when the two parties meet today and tomorrow.
“The national government must first address the status of Bougainville under the Bougainville Peace Agreement that it had failed to honour over time,” he said.
Dr Momis said the O’Neill government has no gratitude for Bougainville’s contribution in the past.
He said funding issues will have to be addressed and resolved to enable the execution of powers and functions and the implementation of services in Bougainville.
The national government had to make available all provisional funds enabling the ABG to operate.
Dr Momis said Bougainville must not be seen as a beggar because, under the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the constitutional laws of PNG, funds were needed and they were due.
“Both governments must work together to achieve the results of the Bougainville Peace Agreement,” he said.
Unfortunately for Dr Momis, the Autonomous Bougainville Government's financial problems, which have been growing for some time, have now run into the substantial fiscal challenges facing the O'Neill government.
At the weekend, social media reports said that public servants - including the entire staff of the national broadcaster - were not being paid.