BY ISAAC NICHOLAS
DEPUTY Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel said the national government is committed to opening up the Highlands region and linking it with coastal provinces to create opportunities for the people.
He said the National Executive Council has approved a rice project for Baiyer in Western Highlands and a road connecting into Madang.
“We have a public investment program where we try our best to help our respective provinces and work in partnership with provincial governments to achieve those programs.” Mr Abel said.
“One example is Baiyer development, Cabinet has endorsed the rice project there in Baiyer and we try and begin there as a nucleus for the wider agriculture program in Baiyer and connecting down to Madang through the highway and to Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ).
“It can become a transport hub and outlet for the Western part of the highlands, as we have a road going down to Kikori and our main Highlands Highway through ADB funding that will come to Mt Hagen and continue to Mendi, Tari, Koroba and Kopiago.” Mr Abel assured Western Highlands Governor Paias Wingti during the province’s budget presentation in Port Moresby that the national government will continue to work not only with Western Highlands but with all other provinces in the country.
He said the four-lane highway will join up Mt Hagen city to the airport as bigger development will be happening at the airport itself.
“It is one of the best terminals in the country. We have also invested money into the hospital, into Kapal House, and the Highlands Highway is all going to be upgraded.
“It’s a very important national program and the number one asset is the Highlands highway that is well overdue.”