MARAPE GOVT FUNDS INCOMPLETE AND NEW PROJECTS IN MOROBE
The Marape-led Government has paid off K400 million to complete the Yalu Bridge-Nadzab section of the Highlands Highway, paid off outstanding debts to contractors on the 9-Mile to Yalu Bridge section, and paid off the outstanding Papua New Guinea counterpart funding of the Nadzab International Airport, Prime Minister, James Marape says.
Roadworks come under the Marape Government’s signature ‘Connect PNG Programme’ for which K2.4 billion has been expended over the last three years on roads throughout the country: K1 billion over last two years and K1.4 billion this year.
The Marape Government, through Deputy Prime Minister and Lands Minister, John Rosso, has also set in motion plans for the building of Nadzab Satellite City to complement the major developments that will take place in Morobe over the next couple of years.
PM Marape said in a media statement the Peter O’Neill regime may have started the projects, however, had never paid off contractors or allocated any money for completion of the projects.
“The first section of the Lae-Nadzab Road from Bugandi to 9-Mile was dogged with controversy of inflated prices about 10 years ago,” he said.
“After the Bugandi to 9-Mile section was completed, work on the next section from 9-Mile to Yalu Bridge was on an ad hoc basis, which saw the road deteriorate to such an extent that it became a national disgrace.
“It was only after my Government came into office, in May 2019, that we were able to retire all outstanding debts to contractors for the 9-Mile to Yalu Bridge section to be completed.
“Cabinet in January this year approved awarding of more than K1.4 billion of new road contracts throughout Papua New Guinea.
“Among these is K400 million for the Yalu Bridge-Nadzab four-lane highway.
“For more than 10 years, the people of Lae, Morobe and PNG have been complaining about the bad roads between Lae and Nadzab.
“I am well aware of your cries as I, on my many visits to Lae over the years, have driven through the mud and potholes.
“I can assure you that you will have one of the best roads in the country when the Yalu Bridge-Nadzab section is completed.
“People will be able to travel in comfort from Lae to Nadzab, and then get on an international flight, once the new international airport is completed.
“This is the same story with the Japanese-funded Nadzab International Airport: The project was signed for in 2015 but never got off the ground because the O’Neill regime never provided the required counterpart funding.
“It was only after my Government came into office in May 2019 that we provided the necessary funding for work to start on the airport.”
PM Marape said Nadzab, Lae and Morobe would boom with sealing of Yalu Bridge-Nadzab Section of the Highlands Highway, opening of Nadzab International Airport and building of Nadzab Satellite City.
The new-look airport, funded by the Japanese Government in partnership with the PNG Government, is nearing completion.
PM Marape said the new satellite city, an initiative of the National Government and Morobe Provincial Government, would transform Lae and Morobe.
He commended DPM Rosso for being in the forefront of this exciting project for Lae, Morobe and PNG.
“It is a timely intervention with the giant Wafi-Golpu Mine soon to come on stream,” he said.
“I welcome this satellite city development, where the private sector and super funds, will be major drivers in partnership with the State.
“Once completed, it will complement Nadzab International Airport, and will be timely with Wafi-Golpu and the major agri-business developments in the Markham Valley of Morobe and Ramu Valley of Madang.
“It will also provide home ownership for hundreds of Papua New Guineans.”
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