By Jack Lapauve Jr – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The National Government hopes to re-open the Border Post facility at Wutung in West Sepik Province (Sandaun). Inter-Government Relations Minister, Kevin Isifu, says an assessment will be done before funding is released to see the facility function.
While awaiting the assessment to be carried out, the Government has sought assistance from across the border to extend electricity into the facility. During the visit by a State team, Wutung Councillor Raphael Tungla expressed the missed opportunities as a result of the border facility remaining shut. He also urged the Government to intervene. “Government must help, people can venture into trade but no proper facility to support them”, says Mr Tungla.
Despite the closure of the border facility, movement of people and trade continues. About 500 people cross the border every day to do shopping, visit families and other businesses. It has been five years since the Border Development Authority completed the Border facility at Wutung, however it has since, remained closed.
A considerable amount of K90 milllion through an ADB loan was used to build the facility. Minister Isifu says an assessment will be made before the facility is commissioned. Minister Isifu is hopeful to commission the Wutung Border Post before the end of this year.