New PNG Chancery Construction Monies Abused

WORK on the new Papua New Guinea High (PNG) Commission office at Town Ground has reportedly been halted for the past seven months because of lack of funds.

The $30 million dollar construction was supposed to complete its first phase this month but workers claimed lack of funds has forced them to discontinue work.

When contacted several times yesterday the PNG High Commission Third Secretary Mary Karo said that they have been informed by the acting High Commissioner Mrs Joyce Bundu not to discuss any matters relating to the incomplete construction.

“We have been advised by our acting commissioner not to discuss matters relating to construction of our new office.

Therefore, we will not be commenting on this matter”, Mrs Karo from the PNG High Commission said.

However, the Solomon Star visited the construction site yesterday and spoke to two disgruntled workers.

The two workers who wanted to remain anonymous said it has been seven (7) months now since they were laid off from work.

They said the reason was because there was no money to pay their salaries and allowances.

Trans World Construction owned by local businessman Thompson Turueke are responsible for the construction.

“We have decided to discontinue because we were not paid. We understand more than $30 million have been allocated for the new building but we don’t know why we are facing the problem. Either the PNG government are yet to send funds for the completion of the building or the funds were misused”, they said.

The workers added that last week Friday the construction workers went to their boss Turueke in relation to the matter and they were given 14 days.

“We went to see our boss in relation to the matter and he told us that he will pay us after 14 days. So we just have to wait when we will get our money and continue with finishing the building”, one of the workers said.

Attempts to talk to Turueke yesterday were unsuccessful to confirm the report.

The PNG High Commission building is regarded as PNG citizen’s home away from home and the delay has irked a lot of nationals.

Recalled PNG High Commissioner Aiwa Olmi February this year told the media that the building would be officially opened early next year.

With the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meeting coming up next month, it would not be a positive development update for the PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare and his delegation.

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