Bougainville News: President Momis “To meet fiscal self-reliance we must open the Panguna mine

President Momis

Firstly we would like to wish all our Bougainville News readers a Happy New Year for 2015

It is going to be very big year for Bougainville deciding our future direction

BY Aloysius Laukai – Managing Editor

The ABG President, Chief DR. JOHN MOMIS says that Bougainville needs to meet fiscal self-reliance with good governance and weapons disposal as condition before the referendum is held.

Speaking on NEW DAWN FM, President Momis said that he sees no other option to meet this fiscal self-reliance but to open the Panguna copper Mine under the new Bougainville mining law.

He said that weapons disposal and good governance can be met in time but he was more concerned at the fiscal self-reliance was currently out of reach and most critics who do not want the mine to re-open are not providing the alternatives for raising these funds.

PRESIDENT MOMIS said that Agricultural commodities can be fast-tracked once funds are raised from the mine.

He said funds can be raised immediately once the approval is given and starting at reconstruction stage.

PRESIDENT MOMIS said since the end of the Bougainville conflict WORLD BANK and AUSAID pumped in a lot of funds on Cocoa rehabilitation but the cocoa pod borer killed these initiatives and will take time for these products to come on line.

And with the drop in prices the help needed by Bougainville is not coming at all said President MOMIS.

Responding to comments made by DR.RUTH SPRIGGS, he said that under the new mining law Bougainville land owners are fully protected and on top of that they have the veto power to halt any operation if they are not happy with the company or the government.

He said if critics think their option like planting and selling tomatoes and other garden foods can make Bougainville reach economic self-reliance within the short time remaining to referendum, then they should tell the government of these options instead of just criticizing the government.

 listed below are some of the initial responses to this interview
Please leave your comments below
  • Jade Kilo What is the department of primary industries doing in terms of the agriculture, fisheries and etc, sectors? I think Very creative people are needed at the top to run these direct economy building machineries. No wonder we are now turning to mining as the only option to alleviate and boost Bougainville economy.
  • Aloysius Laukai Ol plantation long ples i bush pinis, I don’t know why our people have stopped working on plantations and now looking at the ABG and National members for handouts.
  • Walter Pakei There is a pot of Gold sitting in the middle of the Bougainville Island.
  • Remove
    Mangi Kieta Patere John Momis, Mining should be the last option.Look at the tomatoes first!
  • Godfrey Bitari If Bougainvilleans are critically serious about being fiscally self reliant and politically independent, then we have no other option but to suppport the president. If not then the whole dream becomes a joke. Be serious or forget independence.
  • Jade Kilo I need answers to rest my mind and accept mining here. Which is the most destructive and expensive in terms of environment, financial and humanity/social. Mining or agriculture, tourism etc..other wise as long as we understand that greater the benefit, the greater the opportunity cost(sacrifice we make).
  • Godfrey Bitari How much time do we have left before the clock catches up with us before the “the referendum vote?” We need to critically act here and now.
  • Steven Kolova The rationale behind reopening of Panguna mine is good but based on experiences its almost not workable given that since 8 June 2006 when the decision to drawdown mining powers to facilitate reopening of Panguna mine was reached in Alotau not much has been acheived. Ating em inap evidence lon tok nau yet mining m hard lik x2 ating bihain bae ok
  • Petersen Ketsore I really feel sorry for our leaders, they are handicap with the situation they are presented with, they can’t do much…
  • Walter Pakei If ABG can negotiate maximum benefit for Bougainville from the mine, then it is a good idea to open the mine. At the moment, ABG will be getting peanuts from the mine if it opens.
  • Mycall Essam Miise I believe 8/9 landowner associations are already registered in preparation for the reopening? The hold up is from the SML landowners.I think the issue faced by the government is that they don’t have money to fund agriculture, fisheries etc. Nogat mani long kirapim ol displa sectors.So ba yumi independent or yumi ba hangamap stap long PNG na dai blo ol man meri ba go nating.
  • Petersen Ketsore No leader come this year’s election would promise Bougainville Independent without the re-opening of the mining. We have to make use of the very intellectual people that we have now…\
  • Fox Sobee Patere yu tok turu. If no help to open the mine is given to the momis goverment then byebye independance.
  • Petersen Ketsore hem now ya, we’ll have to just say bye to the idea of independence, then the blood that our brothers and sisters spilled for Bougainville will be in vain. that’s the fact…
  • John Kopana It is sad to see our leaders throwing in the towel without demonstrating any effort to prop up other industries. We will only open Panguna if it’s socio – environmental costs are acceptable to all Bougainvilleans. ABG must map these out and insure that we accept such.Let us not demonstrate panic, but systematically work through the issues in the time we have.The former means that we have not done our work!! Let’s not hit panic station and spread anxiety through our folks. Time to demonstrate tact, unless the intent of this press release is just that – make us panic!
  • Fox Sobee From the news article momis is much more conscious about the time frame?
  • Ian Wilkinson Ben, how are people extracting the gold? Panning?Perhaps small scale low environmental impact mining operations could provide some govt income, without opening the main mine.
  • Aloysius Laukai Referendum is to be held between 2015 and 2020. if they decide to have it next week are we ready? we had ten years to prepare and who are we going to blame this time? mi wari ia
  • Steven Kolova I think Bougainville can achieve fiscal self reliance without the mine eg for Fisheries Bougainville waters accounts for about 30 percent of PNG’s fisheries revenues which worth about US $ 30 million per year. To aquire that ABG needs to implement the provisions in BPA on developing benefit sharing formula. with PNG, and alluvial mining currently accounts for about PNGK 18 million n cocoa accounts for 3 % of Bougainville’s GDP In anycase ABG needs about PNGK 102 million per year to sustain its operations .. ating yumi ken survive yet
  • Aloysius Laukai When can we start, the clock is ticking..and the illegal fishermen out there are wiping out the fish from our seas because we have no capacity to police our waters. If we want to try something it’s now or never.
  • Aloysius Laukai We are working on 6 awareness films to be screened at a mobile cinema in the District centers in March this year funded by the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) The six films are in Tok Pisin and will cover War widows, Missing persons, Government Corruption and the three pillars of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.Research has been completed with information that is not good at all.Our people don’t know what is happening. we are working on the scripts based on these findings.We can do another one to find our we can assist our government on these issues but there are people on the payroll who suppose to do all these things. TOKSAVE TASOL.
  • Maiko Maka I failed to understand how any Bougainvillean could sustain oyr macro economy without prudent and solid economic base. Agriculture and tourism that many would be presidents are intending to pursue as their priority are strategised and sustained by stable macro microeconomics. Bougainville’s great depression caused by the crisis and its resulting high unemployment rate and increased poverty greatly influenced the development of our macro microeconomics. WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT IMPROVING A CASH-STRAPPED VILLAGE CANTEEN. ITS ABOUT ECONOMICALLY EMPOWERING A COUNTRY.
    22 hrs · Like · 9
  • Thomas Ikurau Corruption is high and strife in AROB. We must try to minimise at all levels.
    21 hrs · Like · 3
  • Jade Kilo Ye tomatoes em easy lo growim lo Bougainville. preserve those tomatoes and whatever not in various ways and first start selling locally in Bougainville and PNG; then extend to others as market indicates.
  • Warwick Brooker Attempting to base a new nation’s economic viability on the unstable supply (e.g. pests, diseases and climatic factors) and world prices of agricultural and marine products would be a recipe for disaster. The economic base should be as wide as possible, utilising all of Bougainville’s resources, including its vast mineral deposits.Of course, whichever resources are exploited, they must be exploited in a manner that mitigates destruction of the island’s natural habitat. Any industry is likely to cause some environmental damage and this has to be weighed against the industry’s advantages to the long-term welfare of the island’s community.I’d be surprised if the ABG has not been weighing these factors up for years. As President Momis has said, those opposed to mining have failed to come up with viable alternatives that will pave the road to independence.
    20 hrs · Like · 5
  • Maiko Maka WHETHER ANY HUMAN BEING LIKES IT OR NOT DESTRUCTION IS A FOUNDATION OF DEVELOPMENT. Not undermining anyone, Sometimes it makes me wonder how those vying for president’s post going to run ABG when their actions and comments are clearly seen as no match for the post.
    20 hrs · Like · 1
  • Steven Kolova I think ABG should talk about workable economic strategies in the current situation instead of been blogged down by rationalization of theories and speculations that are not effectively applicable.
    20 hrs · Like · 1
  • Peter Tareasi Broad based Economy is what ABG needs. Mining is just part of an economic mix that we need. We certainly need investment, domestic and foreign, to kick start the economy. Too much a decision for ABG to decide which way to go..Takes time but procrastination in the decision making process is probably hurting us.
    20 hrs · Like · 3
  • Jade Kilo I’m not totally against mining. But I am a victim of the Bougainville crisis (like all of you) which erupted and escalated mainly because of mining and still have fears. I hope this time it’s better and that the new mining act gathers well for all Bougainville. Hope nothing similar to what I hear about the PNg LNG project happens with mining on Bougainville as well. Here’s a saying to ponder on; ‘Fools don’t learn better from experiences or mistakes’.
    19 hrs · Like · 2
  • Godfrey Bitari Take and make this opportunity work or our ignorance will backfire on us.
  • Warwick Brooker Or as the saying goes, “Strike while the iron is hot”!!
  • Warwick Brooker Or should that be while the copper and gold are hot? 🙂
  • John Kopana You have to be ready to strike, otherwise it will burn you! Judging by the negative sentiments, our folks are very, very scared of being burnt the second time around. Has ABG done enough to sell the idea to our anxious people? Or are they imposing ideas without the sell job done?
    14 hrs · Edited · Like · 1
  • Mycall Essam Miise David late Kabui’s no nephew just returned from his leave and told me the Bougainville mining department are conducting awareness on mining. He attended one at their home. So the government is doing its part but it is up to the people to accept mining back or not or later in future?
    17 hrs · Like · 4
  • John Becks Broad based socio-economic investment is what ARoB should have set its referendum and nationhood development priorities from the start. Both this government and previous Kabui government did not had a prudent broad base economic and social priorities to set the foundation for independence; and most Bougainvillians are aware of the reasons why (those who are not maybe are part of the reason why ARoB is not ready yet for independence). As I indicated in my previous posts, ARoB has already run out of time to carry out its economic, social {and maybe political) activities to set the foundation ready for independence. Five (5) years is not enough to organize a proper economic activity like reopening BCL mine, establish large scale agriculture projects or develop large scale tourism industry that would fund and sustain independent ARoB.
    Let go back to PNG government renegotiate BPA and extend the recovery period by say 10 years so we can prepare better for the independence. We re-negotiate the statehood and referendum. There is no reason why we should not renegotiate an extension to better prepare for the independence. Over to you leaders!!
    8 hrs · Edited · Like · 5
  • John Kopana Aung. John Becks. Totally agree with you. No need to panic, and we may have to swallow our pride/ego to insure that we are systematically prosecuting issues.
    12 hrs · Like · 1
  • Warwick Brooker John (Becks) it might have to come to that. Otherwise, the only other alternative might finish up being abandoning the independence goal completely, and to many that would be unthinkable and unbearable in the light of the enormous sacrifices made to gain independence.
    9 hrs · Edited · Like · 1
  • Mycall Essam Miise Gives more reason for ex combatants to hold on to their guns. People are not sure whether independence will be achieved. Too many against the government.
    7 hrs · Like · 2
  • Warwick Brooker Mikes, I hate to think of that happening, but if Bougainville can’t achieve self-sufficiency economically and through the demonstration of good governance and civil obedience, who knows what could happen. I believe you’re correct in suggesting that theSee More
  • Steven Kolova The so-called fiscal self reliance is measure of formal sector economic activities such as GDP n per capita income but I suppose the level of poverty in Bougainville is better than many so called developed states where there are beggars n people sleeping at bus stops and living in wrecks yu can hardly see such scenarios in Bougainville ating even better than many parts of PNG
    7 hrs · Like · 1
  • Mycall Essam Miise Yes Warwick Brooker. If there is no economic base for independence I hate to think what the heck is going to happen? ABG is running out of time and options. The government is now focused on mining in the last 5 years with the thinking it will take a coSee More
    7 hrs · Like · 3
  • Tony Oawa Can we accept that Bougainville is NOT ready for independence? Guys thats the reality. Daunim tasol na yumi ranim autonomous governemnt.
    6 hrs · Like · 1




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