Papua New Guinea's prime minister has told the people of Pomio in East New Britain that district services improvement programme funds of 9 million US dollars will be released soon.
The newspaper The National reports Peter O'Neill saying the money was being held in the Treasury trust account after Pomio's sitting MP Paul Tiensten was jailed for fraud last year.
Mr O'Neill said the funds would be released once a new MP was elected in next month's by-election, for which he is backing the candidate Francis Waina.
He confirmed that since Tiensten was jailed, Pomio had not been receiving the DSIP funds.
The prime minister said government recognised Pomio's priority development and infrastructure needs, saying that he would personally be held to blame if Pomio was not connected by road to Kokopo by 2017.