Minister for National Planning, Richard Maru, said this during a recent visit to Madang to see the progress of the work being carried out on the Baiyer-Madang road link by the PNG Defence Force Engineering Battalion.
Also with him was the Minister for Defence, Solan Mirisim.
“The Baiyer to Madang National Highway Road Link is a critical missing link with huge economic potential,” stated Maru. “The Government is therefore focused on ensuring that this road project gets the funding support it needs to be completed before the end of this year.”
PNGDF Engineering Battalion Aiome/Simbai Detachment Commander, Captain Derek Levi, said clearance work has been conducted on 9km of the road from Aiome Station to Asai River. However, technical inspection and maintenance of all fleets is needed for the 42km fresh-cut between Fokaifokai and the Ramu River Bridge Point.
K15m has been allocated in the 2019 Budget for this road link, however Minister Maru was advised that another K36m is needed to complete the project successfully.
Minister Maru assured the Minister for Defence and the PNGDF Engineering Battalion of the Government’s support by funding the K15m required to assist. He advised the officers to make a submission for the balance of funding required for the road project.
“We recognise your efforts and we will support you. Government will provide the funding and it will be up to you now to complete the job,” Minister Maru said.
“This is a milestone project and if you deliver, this will be the start of a long positive relationship between the PNGDF Engineering Battalion and the Government. We hear your call for more staffing and funding to the Engineering Battalion for nation building, however it is up to you, the Battalion, to prove to our Government that you can deliver such roads at a much lower cost than private contractors and in a timely manner.”