By LUKE KAMA in Wewak
WORKS Minister Michael Nali says building new roads and opening up the country’s missing links need a whole of government approach to ensure maximum
returns on such massive investments.
Nali made these comments in Wewak yesterday after an aerial inspection of the proposed Baiyer-Madang road from Mount Hagen in Western Highlands to Madang and the missing link from Bogia in Madang to Wewak in East Sepik with Works Secretary David Wereh.
“Apart from missing links that we have in the country, there are a lot of missed opportunities,” he said.
“That is because we are not planning and coordinating things properly at the initial stage.
“If we want to build a new road and open up a missing link, then the Department of Agriculture and Livestock must go to the proposed site and do a feasibility
study on the agricultural potentials there.
“Do we have good valleys for commercial farming, like cattle farming, or oil palm, copra, cocoa and coffee growing there?
“Do we have valuable fresh produce growing well in this part of the place?
Nali said government investments must be planned and executed properly to ensure maximum returns to the country.
“The Works Ministry and the Works Department is responsible for building roads.
But other government departments and state agencies must also come on board.
“Like the Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry must come in to prepare and assist the local people to venture into economic activities.
The minister and secretary were met at Boram airport in Wewak by East Sepik Governor Allan Bird, West Sepik Governor Tony Wouwou, Wewak MP and Minister for Provincial Affairs and Inter-Government Relations Kevin Isifu, public servants in the province and traditional dancers.
They inspected the status of roads in East Sepik including Wewak town roads.
Nali said his trip with the secretary was part of his countrywide visit to see the status of the national and provincial roads and the missing links in the country.
“I am taking a nationwide tour to see the status of our national and provincial roads myself because the data we have on the status of our roads are outdated.
“That’s why I want to see and know for myself the situation of our roads and the challenges and the needs that are there so I don’t make nonsense when talking about the status of our roads in Parliament and making decisions on investments in our roads,” Nali said.
Governor Allan Bird commended Nali for taking time to see the status of roads in East and West Sepik and the rest of the country.
“We’ve got oil palm, cocoa, vanilla and other investments in agriculture that we are pursuing in the province and upgrading roads to an acceptable standard is very important.
The minister and the secretary will today inspect West Sepik roads.
By LUKE KAMA in Wewak