PNG Border Authority Building Opened In Sandaun Province

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Government announces plans for additional border facilities

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 1, 2012) – Papua New Guinea’s National Government is serious about addressing border issues with the launching and ground-breaking for the construction of a border office complex at Wutung, Sandaun province.

Deputy Prime Minister and Inter-Governmental Relations Minister Leo Dion said during the launching that the government is serious about addressing illegal activities and trans-border crime in developing infrastructures in the border regions.

Inter-governmental relations Vice Minister and Nuku MP, Joseph Sungi, Culture and Tourism Minister and North Fly MP Boka Kondra, Sandaun Governor Amkat Mai, Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) Regional MP Joseph Lera and Western Governor Ati Wobiro attended this event.

The complex is part of the K90million [US$42.7 million] Border Trade and Investment Project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Mr. Dion who is responsible for the Border Development Authority (BDA) also said for over 37 years successive governments neglected our Border Posts that hosts the International Boundaries. People in those areas were deprived of basic services.

"As a result, our foreign neighbors and locals used these areas for illegal activities, the smuggling of illegal firearms and ammunitions, drug trafficking, human trafficking, illegal exploitation of our marine resources, transnational crimes and the list goes on."

He said this is because in the past, agencies like Customs, National Agriculture Quarantine Inspector, Authority (NAQIA), Foreign Affairs, Immigrations, Police, PNG Defence Force (PNGDF), Investment Promotion Authority (IPA), Labor, Commerce Department, National Fisheries Authority (NFA) have been working in isolation to implement their constitutional duties.

"Now they will all work together in this building to effectively and efficiently implement the National Government’s vision and their respective duties that will benefit this nation as a whole," he said.

When completed in 2014, this will be the first of its kind for border areas.

Other infrastructures here include 15 new houses and renovation of 11 existing houses to accommodate staff and their families.

Mr. Dion said the government will build similar infrastructures in Border Provinces of Weam Border Post to cater for people living along the Western-Indonesian border, Jirah Island (Western/Australian border), Buin next to Kangu Beach (AROB/Solomon Islands) and six other posts along the borders of Papua New Guinea to properly address border management problems

"As Minister responsible for BDA I want to assure the Governors of the six border provinces and your people that in the next couple of years we will open up the border areas to modern changes and also promote international competition, trade, business, commerce, political, and economical inter-action. To achieve these changes and promote growth I would like to call on respective Open MPs from those border areas to actively participate by liaising with BDA to coordinate to effectively develop your respective border posts through your District Service Improvement Program funds. It is important that we develop this partnership for the good of our people and country," Dion added.

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