Category Archives: SME

School Contractors Warned! – O’Neill

**** PM O’Neill: Contractors to be Held Accountable as More Schools and Classrooms Built Around Papua New Guinea ****

4th December 2017

 

With more schools and classrooms being built around the Nation, contractors will be held accountable for every Toea in public funds they are given for construction.

That is the clear message delivered by the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, when opening a new classroom building in in Kimbe, West New Britain Province.

“Continuing to improve education is our government’s commitment to our future generations.

“Better education provides the greatest hope for our children, particularly in remote and rural areas.

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“In 2018 we have allocated 1.29 billion Kina for the Education Sector, which is nearly nine per cent of National Budget. This is an increase of 13 per cent from the 2017 Supplementary Budget.

“We have placed more than an additional one million students in school over the past five years, and now we are applying additional focus on improving the quality of education.

“Now we are building more schools and classrooms right around the country.”

The Prime Minister issued a stern warning to all companies involved in the construction of school projects, that public money will be fully accounted for and documented.

“Many times the Government has given contracts to certain contractors who fail to complete their jobs and run off with payments.

“This must stop and we are looking back at previous contracts to identify any irregularities for further investigation.

 

“It is vital for our children to have proper buildings to learn, and any time there is fraud this deprives our children of their right to education.

“We also have seen a number of builders that have delivered high-quality school buildings, and their commitment and accountability is helping us to advance the Nation.”

In opening the new classroom building at the Waisisi Primary School in the Talasea District, West New Britain Province, PM O’Neill congratulated all who had worked on the project.

“As I officially open this newly built classroom building, today, I thank the school board and the builders for doing an outstanding job.”

The Prime Minister further noted the growth that was occurring in the Talasea District and said the Government has met with the Boundaries Committee and have decided that Talasea District will soon become two districts, given it’s vast population and land boundaries.

Improvements to Taxes and Infrastructure Crucial for Papua New Guinea SMEs, says Millennium Water MD

Source: Business Advantage PNG

Achilles Peni’s water treatment business was one out of 10 companies selected to participate in Papua New Guinea’s SME Advancement Program, led by the World Bank, the Government and Bank South Pacific PNG.

The company sells purified water from Port Moresby. It has long-term plans to build the first natural mineral and spring water facility in Papua New Guinea.

Peni, who is a water and wastewater treatment technologist with over 26 years experience, says the company will then be positioned to bottle water directly from the base of the Owen Stanley Range near the Kokoda Track.

Market

There is a large potential market. According to a study by Water Aid, Papua New Guinea has the world’s worst access to clean water. It found that 4.8 million people in the country do not have clean water.

The Water Aid study says access to clean drinking water and sanitation is an issue for over half of Papua New Guinea’s population. The annual rainy season is also often followed by drought, which adds to the difficulties.

‘One way to support local producers is to increase taxes on imported goods.’

Lae

Peni says the company’s Lae branch initially operated ‘very well’ but the economic downturn meant that it had to be closed down. He says he has been forced to adopt a defensive strategy.

‘Millennium Water is surviving, but the company isn’t thriving.’

Peni lists his greatest challenges as high freight costs, and the lax application of importation taxes. He says many local businesses struggle to get their products transported to the buyers in a reasonable timeframe.

One way to support local producers, he says, is to increase taxes on imported goods.

‘The Government must promote local products first by imposing an import duty tax. These actions will help create a level playing field.’

Peni says reducing freight costs and developing local infrastructure, especially rail and road, will also greatly aid PNG SMEs.

Contracts

Millennium Water has continued to be successful during the economic downturn by securing contracts with large companies, including PNG Power Limited and ExxonMobil.

‘Keeping the dispensers clean helps to maintain the light, sweet taste of the water.’

In addition, the company offers cleaning of its water dispensers free of charge, to attract and maintain its client base.

Keeping the dispensers clean helps to maintain the light, sweet taste of the water, which makes the product competitive, Peni explains.