PM MARAPE TELLS MENYAMYA PEOPLE THAT GOVERNMENT IS MORE RURAL-FOCUSED

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has told the people of remote Menyamya, Morobe, that his Government is reprioritizing its development focus from urban to rural areas of the country.
 
He said this when addressing hundreds of people at Menyamya Station on Friday (October 8, 2021) during his one-day visit there.
 
“We are starting to reprioritize our development focus now,” PM Marape told the people of Menyamya and guests including Education Minister Hon. Jimmy Uguro, Menyama MP Hon. Benjamin Philip and Morobe Governor Hon. Ginson Saonu.
 
“When we took Government two years ago, we decided that it was enough of spending too much money on Port Moresby and one or two other areas, but share it equally among all areas of Papua New Guinea.”
 
PM Marape said Menyama was one of those areas which the Government was now focusing on.
 
He told the people that their MP, Hon. Philip, had long been fighting for improved road access in Menyamya, which borders remote Kaintiba in Gulf and Marawaka in Eastern Highlands.
 
PM Marape said Menyamya already had road access, even if only by four-wheel drive vehicles, while other remote areas of the country such as Karamui in Chimbu, Telefomin in West Sepik, Marawaka and Simbai in Madang had none.
 
He said only K3 billion was earmarked for district infrastructure development in the National Budget over the last two years, because of debts incurred by the previous government of Peter O’Neill, and this had to be equally shared among all provinces and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
 
“ If you divide it among the 111 district and provincial procurement points, this equates to K27 million on an equal distribution. This includes the K10 million District Services Improvement Programme /Provincial Services Improvement Programme so you are  left with about K17 million each for other development programs," PM Marape said. 
 
"We have tried to be fair over the last two years. 
 
"For Menyamya, we have K10 million in Budget for the main road and I am bringing an additional K8 million for other development needs in the district including SMEs, agriculture and education.
 
“Whatever little left (in the National Budget) was distributed, as best as possible, to rural areas of the country. 
 
“This includes K10 million for road development in Menyamya.
 
“This may seem small, however, every year we will put in another K10 million, so that bulldozers are on the road.
 
“Over the next five to 10 years, we can make this road become a good one.”
 
PM Marape said if, over the last 46 years, K5 million had been allocated annually for road development in Menyamya, that would equate to K230 million.
 
“This, however, had not happened and I will not blame past governments,” he said.
 
“However, I want to reassure you people of Menyamya, that the road contract for the road from Bulolo to Menyamya is near completion.
 
“We will also work on the Trans-Island Highway from Menyama to Gulf Province.
 
“By the time we celebrate 50 years of Independence in 2025, you can be assured of a better road which can be accessed by PMVs, and not only four-wheel drive vehicles as is the case now.
 
“I know that the road issue is one that you are all concerned about.”