The Morobe Provincial Government has reached out to the National Government to support its proposed “Triple 1 Policy” a policy initiated by Governor Hon. Ginson Saonu, MP.

Last Friday, Governor Saonu and his team comprising business, technical and policy officials of the Morobe Provincial Administration met with the Deputy Secretary (Policy) of the Department of Prime Minister & National Executive Council, Mr Frank Aisi, at the Policy Division of the Sir Manasupe Haus Building, to discuss and promote this policy initiative and seek policy and advisory support from the Department to progress and implement it.

Mr Aisi represented the Department on behalf of Secretary, Ivan Pomaleu, OBE.

Mr Aisi in welcoming Governor Saonu and his team informed that the primary role of the Department of Prime Minister & NEC was to mainly coordinate and provide oversight to the sectors, departments and agencies on Government policies and initiatives.

In that context, he urged the technical and policy officers of the Morobe Provincial Government to adhere to and follow established Government processes when submitting project proposals such as the “Triple 1 Policy” to the National Government. This would include due diligence and legal clearance before seeking National Executive Council endorsement.

In his response, Governor Saonu mentioned that “Agriculture and Fisheries in Aviation” is the policy framework for the “Triple 1 Policy” and his Provincial Administration had been working in close consultation with the key departments and agencies to develop the policy to ensure its feasibility.

He added that focusing on the Agriculture, Fisheries and Aviation Sectors was vital to realizing his aspiration to create market access for rural farmers and their local produce for export to the domestic and lucrative international markets such as Asia and Europe through a properly coordinated aviation service.

To ensure successful delivery of the Policy, the Governor and his officers informed of the need to improve infrastructure such as roads and rural airstrips nationally, including a Proposed Cargo Terminal Warehouse, at Nadzab International Airport.

Governor Saonu also informed that he would be proposing for a name change of Nadzab to Somare International Airport, as the name had a global appeal and historic attachment to development of Papua New Guinea.

“As for the facility, it would serve as a central storage facility for quarantine clearance, food distribution and processing for direct transportation of the agricultural and fisheries produce to international markets.

“Apart from Morobean farmers, the project would expand to include market access for the farmers in the surrounding areas and the Highlands provinces.”

In that context, Governor Saonu mentioned that the support of the Department of Prime Minister & NEC including relevant departments such as Agriculture, Fisheries, Civil Aviation and Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and potential Development Partners was crucial in realizing the project.

He further informed of the need for the project to be managed and controlled by an Independent Authority to ensure effective coordination and transparency in terms of managing and administering its annual proceeds to the Morobe Provincial and the National Governments.

In his response, Deputy Secretary Aisi informed that the above policy initiative resonates well with the current Government’s policies to grow the economy but required a consultative and Whole-of-Government approach with the relevant sectors, departments and agencies to ensure its successful delivery.

Furthermore, he urged the Governor and his delegation to submit the above project proposal to the Department of National Planning and Monitoring for consideration and funding under the 2022 Public Investment Program (PIP) and Development Budgets respectively.

With regards to development partner assistance, Deputy Secretary Aisi urged all provincial governments including that of Morobe Province to establish units within their respective structures to ensure constant liaison and collaboration/coordination with the relevant authorities, especially the National Planning Department to effectively draw- down on counterpart funding for development projects in their provinces.