Enga Governor Grand Chief Sir Peter Ipatas called upon the national government to give more powers to Local Level Government (LLG) in his keynote speech at Walume, Imbonggu District during the launch of the issuing of LLG Ward Councillors badges and uniforms that was officiated by the Inter Government Relations Minister and Member for Imbonggu Hon. Pila Niningi.
Papua New Guinea enjoys a democratic system that has three levels of governments: the National Government is where Laws and Policies are made; the Provincial Government and the Local Level Governments is those where polices and laws are implemented.
“We must understand how the system of the government works. The constitution says that there three systems of government in PNG so they need to be a clear demarcation of the three systems of government,” said the Grand Chief Ipatas.
“All the powers are centred in National Governments and Provincial Governments; we must decentralise powers to LLGs and trust them to do their jobs. If the provinces and the LLGs don’t do their job, the government must go around with a whip and show them the right way,” said the former LLG Councillor Ipatas.
Ipatas first became a Councillor in 1979 at the tender age of 21 and was paid K6 allowance in each quarter. He went to serve 18 years as Councillor and 17 as a LLG President for Wabag before getting elected as the Governor for Enga in 1997.
“I was a young man but I knew the importance of a Councillor so I took upon the task of becoming one. As a Councillor myself I am happy to support the son of a long serving Councillor Minister Niningi to empower the LLG government, so that we can finally build our country from the bottom up and not from the top up.”
“Funding must be made available so that our LLGs can operate effectively too. LLG Councillors are also called members because they are an important arm of our government. Let us now fix how they operate or our country will continue to lose it’s way,” said Governor Ipatas.
The launching of the issuing of Badges and uniforms for LLG Ward Councillors started with five LLGs in Southern Highlands and Two LLGs in Western Highlands and will be rolled out nationwide. Hon. Pila Niningi thanked the Marape Government for finally giving recognition to the LLGs.
“The Marape-Basil Government recognizes the important roles LLG Ward Councillors play as community leaders to maintain peace and harmony in our communities by issuing badges and uniforms that will help make our LLG Ward Councillors stand out so that they may serve with pride and dignity. I have seen their work and struggles first hand I and say thank you to the Marape – Basil government for making this possible,” said Minister Niningi.
“In addition to the issuing of LLG Ward Councilors badge and uniforms, the National Executive Council (NEC) approved a submission from the Ministry of Inter-Government Relations in November to put LLG Ward Councilors on the PNG ALLESCO PAYROLL system. This means that for the first time ever our hardworking Councilors will be receiving pay like public servants commencing in January 2022.”