PM MARAPE’S VISIT TO MANUS SPURS NEW DEVELOPMENT PERSPECTIVE
Prime Minister, James Marape has made his second visit to Manus Province and, celebrated the New Year and spent time with the people.
The Prime Minister arrived in the province on Friday (31 December 2021) with his wife, Rachael Marape; and accompanied by Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, William Samb; Secretary for PM and NEC Department, Ambassador Ivan Pomaleu, and several government officials.
In Lorengau, Prime Minister Marape was welcomed to the province by Manus Governor, Charlie Benjamin; and Speaker of National Parliament and local MP, Job Pomat in a ceremony witnessed by members of the Manus Provincial Government (MPG), leaders of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Manus, and the people of Manus.
PM Marape then committed a cheque of K10 million to the MPG for the maintenance of Lorengau town roads before visiting the provincial hospital where he presented another cheque of K10 million for the extension of the COVID containment facility and various other maintenance on the hospital.
The evening of Friday and the rest of Saturday, the Prime Minister and Mrs Marape spent time with fellow SDA members at Rossun Village for the 75th Diamond Jubilee of the SDA mission in Rossun.
He took the opportunity on Sunday to visit Momote Airport to see progress work on the new Momote Airport terminal, constructed by Chinese firm AG Investment Limited, which nears completion.
When completed, the terminal will add to the new infrastructure Manus will be receiving within the next five years, including the development of the Manus East-West Highway, the construction of the N’Drauke Industrial Port, and the construction of a brand new world-class hospital to replace the dilapidated hospital that has served this island province since 1963.
In line with the development of Manus, the Marape-led Government is also intending to pass legislation to declare Manus as a tax-free zone.
PM Marape encouraged the people of Manus to get into agriculture and business as his Government continued putting in place enabling infrastructure to grow the islands’ economy, which to date, has remained small.
The Prime Minister said Manus had “great potential to become the tourist capital of Papua New Guinea”, and encouraged the people of Manus to begin preparing to get into tourism and the spin-offs of fisheries associated with the anticipated Pacific Marine Industries Zone (PMIZ) – a major fisheries project earmarked for development in the province.
He said: “Manus, you are not alone. It does not matter whether you are the smallest or the furthest; our Government is a rural-focused government.
“We are focused on getting the rural parts of the country connected in infrastructure, government services, and economic empowerment to harness the potential and resources that God has blessed us with in all parts of the country.”
“You have the potential to become the tourist capital of PNG. You are already on the outside. You are strategically located, only six hours flight from China, three hours from Philippines, and one hour less than Port Moresby from Japan.
“But tourism cannot grow if we do not have enabling infrastructure. Business cannot grow if we do not have enabling infrastructure such as good airline services, good health, good telecommunication, good power, and so on.
“If we can put a modern hospital here, we can tick off that one place is ready as far as health requirements is concerned.
“Our economy must grow by the hands of you rural people; you must hold up the economy and our society through your participation.
“Manus must grow into a robust economy. You are bigger than most Pacific island nations. You can be a robust economy yourself.”