Minister for Immigration and Border Security Hon. Westly Nukundi Nukuundj last week commissioned two Customs Land Border Infrastructure facilities in the Vanimo Green River electorate of West Sepik Province .
When commissioning the first border post at Bewani on Wednesday (11 Dec 2019 ) Minister Nukundj highlighted the need for a single over sight body for border surveillance of human and goods and services movement in and out of the country .
“At present there are five different government ministries with responsibilities on border security spread out. We have Customs, Immigrations, National Agriculture and Quarantine Inspection Authority (NAQIA), Police and Defence. That is where the problem lies ,we need to have all these functions come under one Ministry so there is a clear understanding of how things will be done to manage our borders in the border provinces of Sandaun, Western and Autonomous Region of Bouganiville “
He said the establishment of these new land border posts in Bewani and Green River are directly in line with this Government’s vision under its free trade zones policy to stimulate local and foreign investments. By opening up more border posts it creates more opportunities for trade and investments along the border.
Minister Nukundj promised to seek Executive Government’s endorsement to have all border security functions to come under one over-sight body to encourage greater government participation and presence in developing the work of border security. He said border security is a huge responsibility.
He said these two new land border posts now add up the total of land border posts in Sandaun to 3 to the existing Wutung Land Border Post.
These facilities will empower our people along the border to venture into trade and business across the border. He said there is vast economic potential along the border to be tapped into through trade and Customs has just taken that small but significant step in the right direction.
The Minister gave his assurance to the people of Bewani and Green River that he will give his full support in terms of logistics for the up keep of these important facilities and support in policy matters relating border security.
He commended the hard working Defence force soldiers, police men and women, customs officers, NAQIA officers and immigration officers for the tremendous job they are doing in keeping our borders secured.
These projects funded under the National Government’s Public Investment Program (PIP) were delivered at a cost of not more than K500 000 per project. Accompanying the Minister for the commissioning where Opposition Leader and Vanimo Green MP Belden Namah and Sandaun Governor the Hon.Tony Wouwou.
Both leaders supported the Government’s initiative in opening up more land border posts and made commitments to towards social services and the establishment of Bewani Township. The Opposition Leader made a commitment of K1 Miliion kina towards building Bewani township and other K250 000 towards renovating the existing PNG Defences Base in Bewani . Governor Wouwou also made a commitment of K1 million towards the same cause .
The completion of these projects will allow of Customs officers to be stationed in theses posts initially creating awareness on movement of goods and services into the country through the border and connecting with the people. Similar posts will be opened in Western Province and AROB in the new year.