Image: Prime Minister James Marape addressing the National Development Bank's staff.
Government has a lot of expectations on the National Development Bank to empower local citizens to engage in businesses, says Prime Minister James Marape.
“There are a lot of expectations on the Bank for it to deliver to our people especially by complementing our government’s intention to empower Papua New Guineans to go into business,”
He challenged the Bank’s staff and management during his official visit to the Bank with Minister for State Owned Enterprise Sasindran Muthuvel and other delegates on Thursday, 24 October.
“We want to drag our middle class citizens and our small and medium enterprises to get into business,” he said.
Marape said ‘Taking Back PNG’ really is all about getting our people engaged in something productive.
“As you all know, we have placed in the supplementary budget some fund for business activities to the tune of K100 million,” he added.
Marape said hopefully they would ensure the funds get rooted in a program that is not for ‘paper pushers’ and ‘ghost project pushers’ but to assist real Papua New Guineans engaged in real businesses.
“You would note that NDB is not the only bank in the country, but it is the co-priority bank for the government to partner with to ensure it is used as an institution to support local people and their SMEs,” he added.
According to the government’s view, they want to have an annual intervention program for the next 10 years in the SME space to assist local SMEs with a soft loan programme that they will structure to support local businesses.
Marape said NDB will play an active role if the bank wants to and challenged the board and management to be responsive to the way the government wants to engage going into the future.
“We want to see more and more of our people in business then never before. We expect NDB to be the active player to achieve the government’s intentions to embark on sustainable businesses right across the country,” Marape added.
He also challenged local citizens to see their roles in growing local businesses that are detached from nepotism and corruption and to put the interest of the country at heart.