By ELIZABETH VUVU
THE K12.3 million Kokopo market was declared open by East New Britain Governor Leo Dion yesterday.
The occasion coincided with the official opening of the K22.8 million Kokopo internal road project funded by PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd.
Mr Dion said the road was badly needed to lift the image of Kokopo as the provincial capital of ENB and as a hub for New Guinea Islands.
Present at the occasion were Kokopo MP Patrick Tammur, Gazelle MP Malakai Tabar, Rabaul MP Dr Allan Marat, West New Britain Governor Peter Humphreys and his administrator Steven Raphael.
Mr Dion said the Kokopo market was a significant investment undertaken by the province and its international development partners, especially the World Bank and European Union.
“It is a facility that will also support the economy of the province, especially the informal sector and the people who work the land,” he said.
The total investment to the market facility was K12,307,063.31 and funded jointly by World Bank (K4,645,826.18) and European Commission (K7,661,237.13).
Mr Dion said the ENB provincial government was fortunate to have an institution through the Gazelle Restoration Authority that had built an international reputation as an effective instrument for project management and implementation.
He said it employed a transparent procurement system that attracted the confidence of international organisations and development partners like the World Bank, AusAID, ADB, JICA and EU to come on board to assist the province in realising the restoration agenda.
Mr Dion called on all citizens to support the provincial market authority that was now in place.
He said the Provincial Market Authority Act would provide the legislative framework on how the market, including other provincial markets, will be managed.