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Works Minister Nali under pressure in roads corruption case

Brian Alois
Brian Alois
Michael Nali
Michael Nali


PORT MORESBY– Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has demanded that Works Minister Michael Nali provide evidence that a senior Works Department officer was lying when he said contracts for road construction has been corruptly inflated.

President of the PNG Institute of Engineers Brian Alois who is Momase regional works manager, was suspended by the Works Department after making a presentation at a national planning summit on the economics of building roads in Papua New Guinea.

Mr Alois had spoken at the invitation of National Planning Minister Richard Maru.

In his presentation, Mr Alois provided details of the spiralling costs of each kilometre of road construction, saying it currently costs up to an average of K3 million a kilometre.

He said the PNG government is paying well in excess of what it should for road construction and maintenance projects, referring to inflated contract prices and deficient tendering processes.

The Works Department then suspended Mr Alois and Minister Nali accused him of lying.

TIPNG has come out strongly with a public statement saying the Department must present data to justify the suspension of Mr Alois.

“Otherwise the public can assume that this is a witch hunt by a government department terrified of truth,” the statement said.

“The Minister of Works called Mr Alois a liar on the floor of parliament.

“Mr Alois is a senior public servant and civil engineer who has given his professional opinion [and] appears to have risked his career by presenting, verifiable data in a public forum at the invitation of the government.”

The statement goes on to say that “Mr Alois's suspension over allegedly making false comments at the National Planning Summit in March 2018 is simply unacceptable.

“Speakers were invited by government to assist PNG by bringing their experience and advice to a public planning meeting. For the government to then punish speakers for doing what they were requested to do is outrageous.”

TIPNG chairman Lawrence Stephens said: “If ministers or other public servants disagree with the facts and opinions it is up to them to produce facts.

“Citizens expect public office holders to respect a basic principle that effective public service should be seen to be provided with integrity and impartiality.”

PNG's first female engineer Finkewe Zurenuoc said the Institute of Engineers is supporting Brian Alois who is its president.

“He spoke on our behalf,” Ms Zurenuoc said. “Brian Alois has done more audits on road infrastructure in PNG than anyone else in Works.

“He knows what he is talking about. Let the truth be told. The truth does hurt.”

You can support Transparency International PNG by following it on Twitter @TI_PNG or on Facebook





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Lindsay F Bond

Squeeze is on PNG Works Minister Michael Nali. There have been “massive real cuts in the government’s support for infrastructure of 51% between 2015 and 2018”.

Engineer Brian Alois has put a finger on actual cuts to roads expenditure effectiveness, a question raised by MP Sam Basil in November 2016.


The previous president of the PNG Institute of Engineers, like Alois, had “pointed out that the National Capital Districts roads were designed and constructed at double or triple the estimated cost.”


The current president, Brian Alois, has courage as reported to put it that “PNG government is paying well in excess of what it should for road construction and maintenance projects, referring to inflated contract prices and deficient tendering processes.” What’s more, road construction, “currently costs up to an average of K3 million a kilometre.”

Squeeze is on as other professional institutes of PNG figure out their own standing and add support. The previous president of the PNG Institute of Engineers "urged engineers and construction professionals to develop innovative cost-control systems in various areas in the field to ascertain that the procurement procedures were not abused."

Words with professional respect are applauded, but need to be strengthened and put foremost, discarding scabbard, to reveal limit at edge and point.

Squeeze is on PNG Departments Transport & Infrastructure, Works & Implementation, and others that truth may nail.

Barbara Short

An experienced engineer who has been a head in the Dept of Works just said to me ..I have observed the Dept. of Works has gone from our hay days, where there was transparency and good governance and this has deteriorated when inexperienced young graduates got quickly promoted to senior management level thus contributing to the change from an effective DOW to the most corrupt now a days. So sad for such an important institute of the state.

Barbara Short

Michael Nali is MP for Mendi Open and I have just been speaking to one of the pastors from his electorate who is very upset by the way he is treating the people there.

At the moment, just 10 minutes drive out of Mendi, the people are still trying to dig up the bodies of their loved ones lost in the earthquake.

The people are in a bad condition with no clean drinking water, little food and little help reaching them, especially for the women and children.

They appealed for help from Nali but all he did was throw some money at them for the people who had lost family members. Then he went back to Moresby. He has no heart for helping these poor people so I hope they will not elect him next time.

Hopefully other better leaders will arise out of these earthquakes who can better represent the people of Mendi.

Nali has certainly been ill-advised to condemn Brian Alois and it shows how little he understands the Works portfolio and his lack of ability needs to be exposed by the Opposition.

Hugh Tavonavona

What a stupid minister and boofheads at Department of Public Works. No wonder most if not all of government service projects are always flawed - roads and health come into mind.

William Dunlop

The late engineer Tom Crotty, foundation director of PNG's Department of Public Works, is rotating in his matmat at the injustice meted out to Brian Alois.

Brian, who had the intestinal fortitude to stand up as a highly respected professional engineer and speak the gospel truth, has been meted out a gross injustice by another mauswara political master in the form of gamanman minister Michael Nali.

When I was with what had become the Department of Transport, Works & Supply, skulduggery was not tolerated in any shape or form. Now it's rampart starting from the top.

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