EMPLOYMENT and small business development will increase through the Sepik Plains Special Economic Zone and a series of other projects at Yangoru that were launched by the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, this week.
“This Sepik Plains Special Economic Zone will change the lives of many people and bring social and economic benefits to the people,” Mr O’Neill said at the launch on Wednesday.
“We want change, and the people of East Sepik want change that will have a positive impact on their lives.
“Agriculture is the backbone of Papua New Guinea’s future and the government will support innovative agriculture projects.
”Our government believes in our institutions, and our people and we are allocating funding right down to the districts.
“I am here today to witness and launch your project that will bring many tangible benefits to the people of Yangoru-Sausia, Wewak and East Sepik Province.”
Speaking only a few days after the overwhelming vote of confidence in the Government on the previous Friday, the Prime Minister said while some politicians criticize the government, these are people who have never properly managed the economy.
“We do not have to listen to people who cannot do anything for our country,” Mr O’Neill said.
“Some of those politicians had been Ministers for a long time – but what did they achieve?
“In our government, we have the experience and the know-how to manage the economy and we have been doing this for many years.
“We are facing global challenges including low commodity prices, but our Government is managing the economy so it does not affect you in a bad way.
“Our government is keeping economic growth going, we are increasing the number of jobs and we are stopping companies that used to take advantage of our country such as those who were not paying their taxes.
“People can criticize all they want, if they are genuine we will listen, but if they are just playing politics we will continue to do what we do best – creating jobs and growing the economy.
Mr O’Neill was accompanied by Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister and Yangoru-Sausia MP, Richard Maru; Finance Minister, James Marape; Agriculture Minister, Tommy Tomscoll; Culture and Tourism Minister, Tobias Kulang; Correctional Services Minister and Maprik MP, Jim Simatab and Trade, Commerce & Industry Secretary John Andrias.
· The K100 million Sepik Plains Special Economic Zone will be built on a 500 hectares of fertile land that was acquired by the State in the 1970s.
· The Sepik Plains Special Economic Zone is a major project which will bring significant social and economic benefits to the people of Yangoru-Sausia, East Sepik and neighbouring communities.
· It comprises several other projects, which include the main Sepik Chicken Grain and Cocoa Innovation project, Yangoru Water and Power Supply and other infrastructure.
· The project is similar to the egg incubation factory in Tari, Hela Province, and will create a significant number of jobs for the local people – especially women.
· The government’s Kumul Consolidated Holdings Limited (KCHL) is also a partner in the project representing the State’s interest.
· The government has already released K56 million on related infrastructure projects.