Keith’s intimate travel diary 17 – I’m missing my butler
The white’s man materialism

PNG firm to recruit 800 Fijian workers for Lae-Madang

MIKA LOGA | Fiji Broadcasting Corporation

BETWEEN 500 AND 800 FIJIANS will be recruited to work on Papua New Guinea’s new economic corridor to be constructed between Lae and Madang.

Aleena Limited, a wholly-owned indigenous PNG company, has expressed interest in recruiting Fijians for the project which is estimated to cost K2 - 4 billion.

“The workers required have their skills in infrastructure development, building construction, roads and civil and mechanical engineering, plant operators and so forth," said Fiji’s High Commissioner to PNG, Romanu Tikotikoca.

Tikotikoca says Aleena Ltd will also look at issuing contracts to Fijian companies.

“There will be some people from Fiji involved in the construction of the camps in which the workers are to be accommodated,” he said.

“There are also intentions of looking at reputable garment factories who will be able to supply uniforms for the workers and construction companies can be given contracts to build the economic corridor including building satellite towns.”

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Name Not Supplied

Usually letters or comments received without a full name or a legitimate email address are deleted. In this case I have made an exception - KJ
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I am an Australian, my wife is local PNG woman, I have been to PNG and I fell in love with PNG, love the national anthem, the greetings I get when with family and friends ( even when you hold a camera up to take a photo in PNG everyone wants their photo taken ) and the locally produced foods are totally delicious, PNG fresh produce compared to Australian fresh produce - I would rather PNG fresh produce in a heart beat, oh the flavours are so totally delicious - sorry Australia but your fresh produce is crap compared to PNG fresh produce.

Having said that - I saw PNG for what it was, and what it could become. I have read the vision of the PNG 2020 and 2050 plan and at the rate its going it doesn't look like its going to happen.

Too much unemployment, inferior products, low education and infrastructure in the ways of pedestrian traffic with cars and vans bus and trucks swishing past them no less than 5 cm at times, lack of access to fresh drinking water for washing and drinking, electricity, and many products in shops are of very low quality or technology that has been outdated in Australia 30 years ago, and yet being sold in shops at premium prices.

Also shops are almost all owned by Asians and staffed by locals, locals are paid pittance of income, and road works are well below standard, pathetic roads and even more pathetic road work, pot holes are hardly ever fixed, and if they are they are just filled in with soil, or roads are paved with only 1 inch of tarmac if at all, sometimes just made into gravel roads, and since it rains pretty much every night before long there is another massive pot hole creating traffic hazards .

I would love to be involved in a project properly funded to improve PNGer's living standards and services within their communities, yet still keeping their PNG way of life and identity and culture, to educate them and provide them with the means and resources they need to take control of their own lives, to improve their lives and the lives of their local PNGers, not have big business strip and pillage PNG of its resources, eg, big business goes into village and opens mine and promises this and that, hires locals or whatever, but the locals are never better off! They are in many cases worse than before.

I would love to create a means where the resources of PNG are used by PNGer's for their own locals,
so if open a major company business in an area, then the profits must go back to improving education, reading, writing, fresh water and food, better clothing, better housing accommodation and better living standards, not make them dependant on over seas companies to pay them pittance, not to have over seas companies take all their resources, but to have them go back into their own communities and people to improve their standard of living.

Many roads and streets from the eastern highlands to the coast are all full of mud, going in a PMV up in the highlands very bumpy road with so many broken apart roads.

I am an Australian, my wife is a local PNG woman, but I have dream of being able to work within PNG with my wife to improve the lives and living standards of the people of PNG (from the coast to the highlands), to improve the roads so people can drive on clean properly sealed roads that is more than just 1 inch thick which can take heavy traffic all day every day, provide a means for people walking a way of walking the streets without having to keep an eye out for oncoming cars bus's PMV's etc.

I would love to have PNGers educated so they can read and write and know more about the world around them, so when they get an education and if they so choose they can give back to PNG, the future generation of PNGers to build PNG by PNGers, educated PNGers building and developing PNG for PNG by PNGers and PNGers having their own business and employing other PNGers, and also PNGers providing other PNGers with good quality products, and to be able to provide them with a good income and secure home accommodations that will protect them from the environment, yet still culturally sensitive, many people in PNG live in poorly built and degrading homes that are falling apart which would make the rugged falling apart back shed of an australia home look like high standard of living.

I went on that road between Madang and Lae and Goroka, i saw some of the road works as roads were washed away and how they were repaired, the bridge was washed out at Ramu (both bridges) creating havoc and delays, road repairs are not up to scratch, I have such a strong desire to want to start a proper road work company that will rebuild the roads with more secure solid roads so these sort of things do not happen, pay workers fairly so they can live on their income, and also build roads that will withstand heavy daily rains with ease and ability to take lots of daily heavy traffic without roads being broken up etc.

Oh how I so would love to be able to help improve PNG living standards and infrastructure and able to give PNG into the hands of PNGers, so they can have their own business, better homes, better education, better consumable products, business owned and run by actual PNGers.

For this road project they saying here, I am of the belief it should be done properly for the benefit of all users of he road, build it in a way that employs a PNG owned and operated business (not Asian owned or operated ) employ PNGers to build the road, build it away from dangerous cliff edges (as I know of 1 or 2 dangerous cliff areas where that road currently goes) also build it so that the rain waters will not wash the road away or pour onto the roads to create a dangerous slippery road ( as the case is in a few places there is a small little trickle of running water running along the roadside in a few places).

Oh there is so much more I could say but I'll stop here for now.

PNG has so much potential for itself if it only gave itself a chance.

Tony Flynn

John Fowke has some valid points. Many of the people writing here are working for the man and have no experience in operating an SME. Nothing beats hands on experience, certainly not theoretical postures.

After 38 years of Independence we should not be in the invidious position of getting outsiders to perform low level economic activities for us. We are not supposed to be economic babies; we should not need anyone to wipe our backsides.

What have our sainted leaders been doing since Independence that we have insufficient tradesmen? They have certainly been telling us how good they are and how good they will be.

Vocational Schools all over the country are insufficiently funded and this is the area that should have sufficient foreign teachers to bring us up to scratch for our manpower needs.

Most of the men and ladies finishing from the various training courses are looking for a job with an employer; excepting lawyers, accountants and doctors; they can survive on services to the cash economy and they make sure that the employment protection works for them.

I don’t recall any of them coming out for the rest of us on the protection of Reserved Enterprises as they were originally intended.

The basic producers of the cash economy (excepting multinationals), the dirty work of actually producing cash from our resources, are badly served. Very few graduates have an interest in self-employment.

Some of the ones who fail to get a place consider self-employment; however almost all of the entry level businesses are in the hands of foreigners, courtesy of our previous neglectful, highly respected leaders.

I am not sure that the SME. initiative is solid or if it is hot air. A good start would be an instruction to all licensing bodies to freeze issuing Licences to foreigners; immediately!

Especially in NCD, where the weakest attitude can be clearly seen and where illegal foreigners have been flourishing since Independence. Many of these are now pillars of probity after a bad start.

If we cannot succeed in low level economic activities then we do not deserve to have them. Nature abhors a vacuum; it will be filled, maybe not well, but it will be filled. My trading life started in Goroka before Independence very uncertainly indeed.

J Jaintong | Buingim Village

Aleena, if this is the economic corridor project for PNG than you have got your ideas crossed because the priority is to open up opportunities for the local inhabitants in the form of employment, business, and improvement of the livelihood of the people generally.

Therefore the O'Neill government should reject the Aleena dream.

Maureen Wari

Tanya, sister, copy this to our Honorables Julie Soso, Loujaya Toni and Delilah Gore or tell them just this if you ever have a minute with them:

Invite the MPs to graduation ceremonies (I wonder how many will send their reps?).

The leaders need to be in touch with real people, real hardships and see real effort from struggling parents.

By the way, you and your husband are doing a great job with your charity work. I am proud of you two.

Best wishes na beten tu for good health, wealth and wisdom.

Tanya Zeriga Alone

Our decision leaders need a reality check.

We need to invite them to attend grade 12 graduations not in Sydney or Brisbane or wherever their kids are but to schools like Kilakila High, Grace Memorial and even Bumayong High etc.

They need to see the thousands of young people with faces full of hope for a better future - lining up to receive their certificate. I hope they have a good sleep after the ceremony.

It was reported that 75% of the thousands of 16-25 year old grade 12 students at the end of 2012 did not get a placing in a tertiary institution.

Instead of addressing how to keep the thousands of our young ones gainfully occupied, we want to bring in outsiders while we make laws to use the death penalty on citizens who make trouble.

I believe that if we create employment opportunities for our young ones, they will be kept busy and not let the devil use their idle hands and idle minds.

Rebel Strong

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has lost the plot and is selling Papua New Guinea to Australia.

He has been very insensitive, and has ignored the calls by relevant agencies and appropriate institutions when it comes to decision-making.

There will be a come a time when Peter O’Neill will regret his actions. He is selling Papua New Guinea to foreigners, for example, PNG assets such as PNG Power should have had proper tender, but instead, the Electricity Company is now put on sale whereby a possible monopoly by foreigners will run our power sources thus, charging rates they desire.

Why is the prime minister signing MOUs and MOAs with such as the ones with Australia and Fiji with which under those agreements, removes tax duties, tariffs and trade for free. It will cost Papua New Guinea millions, thus, local producers will lose more than gain.

Have the prime minister, his cabinet and advisors provided for every Papua New Guinean? Does every Papua New Guinean have a job, or an improved standard of living?

It comes to mind how arrogant the prime minister and others are when it comes to Papua New Guinea and the issues that affect it. There are too many foreigners coming into this country and buying of assets that could easily be owned by Papua New Guineans.

Has the Prime Minister been bought off already by Australia?

Robin Lillicrapp

Perhaps a deeper study of this aberration would yield an answer approximating the "wealth redistribution" aspirations of globalist design.

Is there political dictat toward creating a new entity among South Pacific states? Is the IMF / World Bank managing this scenario?

William Gende

What abut the countless PNGns who are looking for an employment opportunity with qualifications the same as those Fijians who will be recruited.

This is not helping PNG's economy in terms of employment opportunities for the citizens. Does the state know anything about it?

Ben Akuani

There is a lack of employment opportunities at the moment and yet our government is investing millions of kina out there in Fiji and creating employment opportunities for the people of Fiji.

And now it's trying to recruit 800 more workers without considering its people.

What a foolish act? Traipela man ya usim het!

Leonard Roka

What a great future for PNG. PNGean companies and leaders not interested in PNG. A great way to go!

But you are not worth medical attention when an unemployed street kid slashes your hand for your mobile phone.

Kainkain tru ya.

Bai Darong

What is Peter O'Neill doing? Does he think PNGians can't do the job?

Peter O'Neill is beginning to sell out PNG's sovereignty. He is doing things of his own will and we don't trust him any more.

Colin Huggins

Strange to even contemplate having to recruit Fijians to work on roads!

I think, as John Fowke has suggested, PNG could employ some, but not 800, to improve the tourism industry. They sure are experts in that department.

Fiji thrives on tourism, PNG lags - yet the opportunities are staring people in the face. Strange indeed.

Zenitram Dee

Kevin, If you look closely at what my point is, you will see that what am saying is we have our own people here who are capable of being employed but they will left out because the Fijians will take their places.

That's the main point but at least I appreciate the initiative.

Kevin O'Regan

John Fowke, you are digressing into some angst against "overgrown and die back riddled coffee plantations" which is a distance away from the main thread.

I stand by my comments that there are capable enough carpenters here to build "construction camps". It is now 2013 and the past 6 years of building boom in the nations major cities has been constructed by citizen leading hands, finishers, concreters, plumbers, electricians and all other trades.

All highly skilled and professional people without a doubt. As for anything difficuilt and I quote "like road transport" suggest you google Mapai Transport!

Frank K Daosak

What a shame when we have thousands of our own youths on the streets because there aren't enough spaces in tech colleges, universities etc for them.

Are we now saying we do not have an unemployment problem? What will happen to the hundreds finishing off from the LNG construction phase?

John Fowke

Carpenters up with the best in the world? The best what?

Go and look at their pathetic, overgrown and dieback-riddled coffee plantations to see what sort of operator this crowd, headed by a Niu Niuginian Knight is - whether in manegement, reinvestment and on-the-ground relationships with locals.

PNG doesn't need this sort of exploitative neo-colonist where only old businesses are taken over, and only easy stuff like setting up wholesale-retail of cheap merchandise is concerned.

The new colonials are only investing in (1) extractive industries where State monitoring of exports is practically nil, and in the aforementioned reserved activities.

Anything difficult like airlines, coastal shipping or heavy road transport isn't looked at.

But where State money for repair of State infrastructure is concerned, here you will find them. And don't anyone be silly enough to mention oil palm, or I'll really go off!

Maureen Wari

Why would a wholly-owned indigenous PNG company look for 500-800 Fijians? Why would the same look at issuing contracts to Fijian companies?

"There will be some people from Fiji involved in the construction of the camps in which the workers are to be accommodated" ...?

Is the camp building instruction written in Fijian or Hindi and cannot in any way, shape or form be translated to English?

"Reputable garment factories, construction companies can be given contracts...including building satellite towns".

Iiiissssssaaaaaa mai bula! Where is the PNG government's plan to encourage Papua New Guineans in the construction of camps, sewing of uniforms and building satellite towns?

Are we debating these kinds of plans on the floor or not?

David Kitchnoge

Thanks Kevin. The fact that someone can even conceive this idea drives me nuts.

Just last week we had a Haus Krai here which in essence meant nothing. We can cry all we want and violent crime is only going to get bigger and worse.

Only real way to deal with our social ills is to put a toea into our young men's pockets.

Kevin O'Regan

Zenitram Dee. It's a crazy idea and is never going to happen.

Do you think your Melanesian brothers could absorb 500 to 800 Papua New Guinea citizens into their tourist industry as reciprocal rights.

David, it ain't going to happen as the Carpenters' operators and so forth are already here and up with some of the best in the world.

David Kitchnoge

So young men in PNG are only good for stealing, killing and raping. Is that what it is?

Bernard Singu Yegiora

So a Fijian invasion is on the horizon.

Michael Dom

David, it means the government did not have the foresight to plan for increased employment opportunities created by our economic boom.

It was quite obvious when O'Neill stepped out to give Fiji our money that this was coming up next. It will be defended in the name of Pacific solidarity and goodwill.

Who are the shareholders of Aleena Limited?

Neither does the government have the balls to stop this mad rush into 'developing' projects and focus on advanced technical training and supporting local business development in a serious way.

Instead they dangle free education in front of their trained monkeys and mules and everyone dances to their tunes. Can't anyone else see this? I must be of another species.

Indeed, it's not rocket science. It's not even political science (an oxymoron if I ever heard one).

It's the economy of avarice, ignorance and stupidity.

Kevin O'Regan

Fijian "plant operators" to work between Lae and Madang!

There are 2,000 or more skilled and trained plant operators all finishing from the LNG project at this time.

Nonsense story for K2 billion of work that hasn't even hit the tenders columns in the papers yet. And Aleena - never heard of them.

Zenitram Dee

That is a very good initiative to help another Melanesian brother.

In PNG, there are many people who are graduating from the technical schools are still struggling to look for job opportunities. Some probably waiting for 2-3 years.

If only there are many such initiatives created it will reduce unemployment rate in the country and also help our neighbouring brother.

David Kitchnoge

What is "skills in infrastucture development"? What does it mean? Rocket science?

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