Discussions have been on-going between the two regarding a benefits sharing agreement on the Nautillus sea-bed mine and how best the two provinces can push for autonomy.
Speaking on the sea-bed mine, Konga said this may be the final meeting on benefit sharing between the provinces and if all goes well, both provinces are set to benefit greatly from the mine.
“Benefits from the mine rightfully belongs to the people, so it is the prerogative of both provincial governments (ENBPG and NIPG) to ensure the benefits go down to the people,” said Governor Konga.
“This meeting is to pave way for such to happen.”
The subject of autonomy is of special interest to both provinces and discussions held during the meeting will pave way for the direction the current regime under the two governors will take to further their cause.
“We (ENB and NI) want greater autonomy politically, administratively and economically.”
“it’s not about breaking away from PNG, but about acquiring the necessary powers fro economy building and a system of government that will enable meaningful development and progress for ENB and NI as provinces.”
The Governor said the push for autonomy stems from the fact that there has been progressive deterioration of social and economic condition for the provinces, as well as further decline in living standard under the present Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Governments.
A team has been put together to accompany the Governor for the trip and it comprises Chairman of the ENB Autonomy Committee Sir Ronald ToVue and ENB Provincial Administrator Wilson Matava among others.