Zeming: Namasu Wharf will not be closed

Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Mao Zeming today confirmed the purchase of Namasu Wharf at Voco Point in Lae, Morobe, by the National Fisheries Authority.

Zeming said the asset was acquired from NASFUND for K12 million.

“NASFUND was placing this asset on the market, and since NFA already owned the facilities on either side of the wharf, it made sense that the government should purchase the wharf too,” he said.

Zeming was responding to questions from Morobe Governor Kelly Naru, who asked if shipping services would be shut down as a result of the purchase.

A newspaper article last week pointed out that the Morobe Coastal Shipping Service had been issued eviction notice because it owed over K500,000 for the use of the wharf.

Governor Naru said such a closure would affect thousands of Morobeans who rely on the shipping service for transport to Finchaffen, Kabwum, and Siassi islands.

But Minister Zeming assured Parliament that the Namasu Wharf will not be closed to Morobe Coastal Shipping or any other shipping company that services the people.

“This is a business transaction, and ownership of the wharf has changed hands. But shipping services will not be disrupted.

“The government injected some cash (about K7 million) to get Morobe Coastal Shipping going since the collapse of Lutheran Shipping. We will continue to help them, but in the long run the business has to be managed well,” Mr Zeming said.

The NFA also spent K2 million to dredge the inlet and plans to improve facilities at the wharf so artesan fishermen can bring in and store their fish for marketing.

Freddy Mou