PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare has directed his deputy and Works Minister Sam Abal to move with all possible haste to implement the government programmes this year, The National reports.
In a letter dated Jan 18, 2011, Sir Michael thanked Abal for taking “affirmative action” in bringing together all agencies of government and provincial governors to focus on implementing the 2011 budget.
He also thanked Abal for holding the fort in his absence.
“I note that you have made a head start in directing serious and conscious undertaking to open important road links of the country and bringing 9,000km of unsealed road to sealing condition as well as your emphasis on quality and high standards of infrastructure that the nation and our people deserve,” Sir Michael said in his letter.
He assured Abal of maintaining his portfolio as deputy prime minister.
“To ensure we are seriously and genuinely focused on implementing the development agenda in the first decade, I would encourage you to continue as deputy prime minster and chair of the national planning committee to ensure the implementation agenda and development objectives from the different agencies of government are harmonised and pooled together to deliver the development aims of government.”
The assurance from the prime minister came at a time when Abal’s two jobs as deputy prime minister and works minister had been under sustained attack from within the National Alliance.
It was rumoured that NA, and particularly its highlands faction, was keen on seeing deputy NA leader Don Polye assume the second top executive post again.
Lobby had also been intense in taking finance and treasury back to NA.
Sir Michael’s parting words in the letter were an appreciation of Abal’s initiative to get government back in office and working in the first week of this month.