By DOROTHY MARK
The opening ceremony was held on Friday but the fight over the management of the new Madang market has some way to go yet.
The opening for business seems even further away as the wrangle over management continued this week.
Madang Mayor Joe Yama and 10 ward councillors of the Madang urban local level government are eyeing the management of the market and so is the provincial government.
The councillors have been demanding an agreement with the National Fisheries Authority to have them manage the market.
On Thursday, the councillors had a meeting with NFA representatives and demanded for the agreement to be made before the opening the next day.
Madang Governor Jim Kas advised the NFA representatives that it was not necessary and he formally announced at the opening ceremony that the provincial government had prepared a policy to look after the market facilities.
The MULLG team chained the market gate, assuming there wouldn’t be any opening until the agreement was signed.
The lock was cut open and the opening ceremony proceeded.
“MULLG owns this market because we have the title to the land the new market is sitting on and we initiated the project, not the provincial government or the Madang district authority,” Yama said.
The councillors said they had not received the provincial government’s component of their local level government service improvement programme funds since 2012. They said now the provincial government had taken over the only revenue-making facility which they owned since the town existed.
Yama said the market was being used as a political playground.
He said the MULLG had a board in place to run the market and the worst-case scenario was to take the matter to court.
and let the it decide who should run the market.
By DOROTHY MARK