|Port Moresby City in the background|
THE National Capital District Commission will buy betel nuts at the Ruborugo and Laloki markets in a new plan to ensure vendors return home with income from their sales.
Governor Powes Parkop announced the new plan after rubbishing claims by vendors from Gulf and Central that they were losing income they used to earn in Port Moresby because of the ban on the sale of betel nuts. He said the NCDC would buy betel nuts brought into the markets at the wholesale price.
But Parkop said the NCDC would only buy betel nuts if the vendors could not sell them or if they wanted to return home early.
“I want to inform the people of Gulf and Central that the betel nut ban in the city will not affect your daily incomes or livelihood,” he said.
“I have put mechanisms in place to cater for the betel nuts you will be bringing into Ruborugo and Laloki.
“A new management has taken control of the betel nut markets because the landowners were incompetent and lacked the logistics to manage the markets effectively.
“The markets will be used only for betel nut selling and chewing and are now fully operational.
“I urge the public to go to the designated areas to avoid being charged, fined or even imprisoned.”
“The new management of the two betel nut markets will sign a lease agreement with landowners so that the landowners also benefit from spin-off benefits,” he said.
“I would like to appeal to the public to refrain from making negative comments about the ban affecting the lives of the Gulf and Central people because I know what I am doing.
“I have plans for lasting solutions instead of just temporary solutions.”
Parkop was at the press conference with acting city manager Leslie Alu, deputy city manager Honk Kiap and National Capital District superintendent of police operations Chief Insp Perou N’Dranou.