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Personal requests made by villages and individuals to the Central Governor’s office has totaled K48 million.
Central Governor Robert Agarobe, who came down hard on free handouts since 2017, has told his officers to hold back from entertaining requests and instead has been planning on opening up the agriculture, tourism and sports potential of the province.
“That’s why Central Province is like this. Too many people come for free handouts and anybody is coming around with a request paper. I stopped a lot of it so that I could build a provincial plan and put the money behind programs (road building) like these.”
Since 2017, the governor has been pushing to achieve all three key pillars and has received criticism over the time frame needed to achieve this.
“As the governor, I have to fine-tune everything and I’ve got a clear demarcation on how to spend our money and where to spend our money so we get returns from our investments,” he said. “As we are doing this, you will see that we are starting to connect the dots. I didn’t give anybody any money and have parked our provincial services improvement program (PSIP) funds in the account since 2017.”
Mr Agarobe said after a budget review this week, everything will be tied up to the provincial plan and pre-committed so that no-one will steal it.
The provincial works will coordinate developments at the district level and the idea is to retain Department of Works public-servant workers at the districts who will build hospitals, schools, public servant houses and other infrastructure.
The first provincial transport bureau will be located at Launakalana, an agriculture station past Kwikila, and the governor says he will see this through by putting up several more around the province.
A provincial business arm has also been created to generate revenue for the province.
“Without independent revenue we are merely puppets, we just sit down and wait for big brother national government to give us money. We got to stop that,” he said.
Since his campaign in 2017, he said he has not deviated from his plans to bring economic opportunities to his people and has been working on legislating policies to ensure the programs are effective.
-By LEIAO GEREGA Post Courier