Wednesday 17 January 2024
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today pledged Government’s commitment to transform Port Moresby into a “safer, better city for all of us.”
Addressing a press conference this afternoon, the Prime Minister, flanked by members of the ruling Pangu Pati and major coalition partners, emphasised the collective resolve to rejuvenate the city in the aftermath of last Wednesday (10 January) unrest, marked by rioting, arson, and looting.
“We have come to a common resolve that we will help build the city into a safer, better place for all of us,” stated Prime Minister Marape.
“Secondly, we have resolved that there will be an assistance package for the business community who suffered losses.”
Expressing dismay at the impact of the recent events on the local workforce, Prime Minister Marape lamented the loss of employment for 3,000 Papua New Guineans due to the “recklessness, lawlessness, and disrespect for the country by a certain segment of our city population”.
Prime Minister assured that his government is putting together an assistance package that should assist the affected businesses get back into business.
“The Government has sufficient funding in this year’s Budget, including the K200 million for SME intervention, the K150 million for State Equity, and others, to support commerce and business in our country.
“Cabinet, when we convene next week, will put together an assistance package for those taxpayers whose businesses were affected.”
Highlighting the role businesses play in the economy, Prime Minister Marape acknowledged the expectation for the State to protect them, expressing disappointment in the failure of law-enforcement agencies to fulfill their duty during last Wednesday’s events.
“We are a government known for giving support to our economy and our people in tough times,” he asserted.
In recognition of the majority of Port Moresby residents who refrained from participating in the unrest, Prime Minister Marape extended gratitude, stating, “A few decided to burn Port Moresby; the majority decided not to burn Port Moresby. I want to step back and say ‘thank you’ to these majority who held back.”
The Government remains steadfast in its commitment to rebuilding and fostering a secure and prosperous future for Port Moresby.
Further details on the assistance package will be unveiled following the Cabinet’s convening next week.