City Pharmacy opens in Oro Province

When I was in Popondetta last week, I noticed that much work had been done on the Post Office building which is a focal point in the town area.

Traditionally and prior to the advent of mobile phones, the town Post Office was the central meeting place of people coming in from rural areas or around town - (1) to use the telephones (2) to check for "salim money quick" receipts (where relatives from other centres wire money through) and, (3) to collect & post mail.

The Post Office is still a popular congregating address in town and it is good to see that the City Pharmacy is piggy-backing on this popularity by setting up its Pharmacy in the Post Office premises. Not only that, the City Pharmacy has renovated the building and opened its newest branch this week in a snazzy outfit.

The new City Pharmacy will provide the small town with essential medicinal supplies and pharmaceutical products over the counter.The opening of Popondetta branch is part of City Pharmacy's strategy to ensure that much-needed medicines and health supplies are distributed through the district level.

The CEO for Popondetta Hospital recently expressed the woes of the province whereby many vulnerable people including mothers and children were finding it very difficult to get basic health care and medicines due to lack of infrastructure or just lack of medicines & health supplies in the province.

 I think the new City Pharmacy will assist in alleviating this problem.

Nambawan Super contributes to Housing industry review

In light of housing industry review conducted by the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) to gather views and find solutions to the current housing crisis in the country, Nambawan Super has come forward with its comments to the Commission calling on relevant authorities to consider among others, the establishment of a National Housing Policy.

Nambawan Super is one of the biggest owner and developer of properties in the National Capital District (Port Moresby).

Managing Director, Leon Buskens said there was an obvious lack of an overarching ‘National Housing Policy’ to holistically address the housing needs of the country and this has resulted in state of condition that we are in today.

Mr Buskens said while some employers and institutions like Nambawan Super are working on being part of the housing solution through relatively small housing roll out programs, more can be achieved through a collaborative and sustained platform such as the National Housing Policy framework.

PAC slams Swamp Ghost sale

So, here unfolds the continuing saga of the Swamp Ghost - sourced from The National reported by Frank Senge Kolma. The National newspaper's Editorial Comment today was dedicated to the Swamp Ghost.

Parliament was told never to consider selling the Swamp Ghost aircraft to any overseas salvage operators.

The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee said in its report into the National Museum and Art Gallery that the Swamp Ghost was grossly under-valued - no surprise there since the valuation taken as "independent" was done by the salvager.

The National Museum accepted as independent, a valuation of the Swamp Ghost aircraft made by a shareholder of the purchasing company who was the actual physical salvor retained by and acting for and on behalf of the buyers of the wreck.

War Relics come under close eye

Since the story of the Swamp Ghost a.k.a. B17-E Flying Fortress emerged, with its eventual departure from Papua New Guinea, a decision has been made that any salvage and export of war relics in future must be fulfilled under agreements vetted by the trustees and must be signed off by the Minister of Culture & Tourism.

This was among several recommendations made by the PNG Government in its new agreement for the sale of the most famous war relic, the Swamp Ghost.

The Minister for Culture and Tourism Charles Abel said the vetting & signing will be strictly on a case by case basis against a predetermined schedule of requirements, less what had already been retrieved.

Swamp Ghost has left PNG

Well.....I reported in my earlier blog that the Swamp Ghost's departure from PNG was imminent. In today's two dailies, you will read that yes - that has certainly happened, is happening right now as I blog, or the Ghost is just about to leave the shores of PNG forever.

The Post Courier report on Page 4 follows a large headline on its front page - 'SWAMP GHOST LEAVES PNG'. Below is the report. Send me your your comment or take part in the poll:

 Alfred Hagen, the elusive American who is shipping PNG's world famous war relic 'Swamp Ghost' to the United States left Lae yesterday after overseeing the loading of the ghost on shipping containers.

The containers are at the Lae main wharf but shipping sources are unaware of the ship they will be loaded on or their final destination. 

The war relic was yesterday taken out of the Voco Point timber yard of PNG Forest Products, where its has been sitting for the past 3 years and loaded into three semi-trailers.

The aircraft was dismantled and packed when Mr Hagen arrived in Lae. He was booked into the Lae International Hotel from January 14 to 20 and took yesterday's midday flight to Port Moresby.

Mr Hagen, from Philadelphia, set up Aero Archeology Ltd in 2000 to recover the war relic.

Despite a massive public campaign to stop the export of the wreck, the National Government relented to threats of court action by Mr Hagen and allowed the export to proceed.

It is understood that clearance for the export was given on September 10 2008 by the National Executive Council against the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which in 2006 found that the salvage of the war relic from the Agiambo Swamp in Oro (Northern) Province was illegal.

Export of 'Swamp Ghost' imminent

                      by Albert H. Cross - Australia

The illegal export of Papua New Guinea's most famous war relic, the "Swamo Ghost' B-17 airplane war wreck, could take place this month.

Papua New Guinea's well-preserved war wrecks attract tourists from all over the world, injecting money into local economies.

The illegal removal of 89 aircraft wrecks during the past decade has yielded little benefit to the nation and its people.

Papua New Guinea's best wreck, the Swamp Ghost, landed intact in the Agiambo swamp in Oro province on February 23, 1942.

The bomber is internationally recognised as a symbol of WW11 in PNG.

Controversy erupted in 2006 when American businessman Alfred "Fred" Hagen salvaged the wreck, chopped it into pieces and transported it to Bismark Shipping in Lae to await export. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) investigation produced a report entitled, "Sale and Export of the Swamp Ghost Aircraft and War Surplus Materials."

Palm Oil fruit shortage hits 2 Oro mills

Bad road networks preventing supplies from reaching mills  (source The National)

The two palm oil mills in Oro province have been hit by shortage of palm oil fruits for processing.

This was disclosed yesterday by CTP Cargill Group's Higaturu Oil Palm (HOP) general manager Vigy Ponnudurai, who said the mills are getting less supply of oil palm fruits from local producers.


Above is the 2007 Graph of the causes of death of members whose beneficiaries claimed payouts from Nambawan Super Ltd. (source - Annual Report 2007)

Above is the 2008 Graph of the causes of death of members. Once again, the highest number of deaths is caused by Heart Disease. Lifestyle diseases such as cancer, diabetes are also a major killer of our people.
(source - Annual Report 2008)

I have been reading with much interest and sadness stories of the demise of some of Papua New Guinea's elites over the Christmas and New Year period.

Not a day has gone by without condolence messages in newspapers and funeral services at the Sione Kami Memorial & the St Joseph's Church in Port Moresby.


By Wallace Kiala - The National

The Popondetta branch of the National Development Bank (NDB) is reported to owe a total of K628,000 after local farmers took out loans for farming and other projects and could not afford to repay their loans as a direct result of Cyclone Guba in 2007, the provincial administration said yesterday.

Meanwhile the Northern (Oro) Province Restoration Authority (NPRA) is yet to respond to a submission towards the end of last year from the Oro administration requesting the NPRA to repay the debts owed to NDB.


By Sheila Lasibori - The National

The Indicator lending rate (ILR) set by commercial banks is bound to decrease as the Central Bank will keep the kina facility rate (KFR) at 7% this month.

With Bank of PNG's KFR at a low of 7%. the next immediate action is that the banks and licensed deposit-taking institutions will reduce their lending rates.

According to BPNG's recent statistics, when the KFR is low, the inflationary pressures continue to decline.

BPNG will ease its monetary policy similar to that of last month when the KFR was also at 7% after a reduction by 1% from 8%. KFR is a rate set by the Central Bank and is a measure of control of its monetary policy.

There is hope that the inflationary pressure might continue to decrease.

However, the construction phase of the ExxonMobil - led PNG liquefied natural gas project and other activities in the country might give rise to imported inflation.


One of the things I have discovered over the years is to make New Year Resolutions as practical and achievable as possible. And in that vein, one of my New Year Resolutions was to add a few very vital gadgets on my blogsite to not only attract visitors but to keep a track of who is visiting me.

Thanks to Malum Nalu, I can now see who is visiting, who is reading what, & work out what topics are of more interest to my readers. Malum, as many of you would know, is a PNG journalist who runs a very reputable blogsite and already has a prolific following. He spent about 25 minutes with me on Thursday afternoon to go through my blogsite and  to answer some of the queries I had. You will now notice that I have a Counterstats gadget which indicates how many visitors I have had since 31st December 2009 (that is the date I installed the gadget even though I have been blogging since August 2009).
I know...I know... I am a bit slow when it comes to technology..I think you call people like me technologically-challenged?? Now that I have explained all that, let me move on with my other New Year Resolutions.

First & foremost - I wish for World Peace. Ooops  sorry that's too high & mighty. Let me begin again.

1) I will not pick a fight with anyone - not even with Watson when he makes an aggressive gesture at Gayle after bowling out the Windies captain; nor with Bollinger even if he lies about catching a Pakistani batsman when the ball had bounced on the ground.



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