Monday, November 30, 2009

Exciting developments on beautiful Nago Island

Captions: 1: Unspoilt white sandy beach on Nago Island. 2: Brand-new staff houses on Nago Island. 3: Visitors on the new wharf on Nago Island. 4: National Fisheries College principal Hugh Walton points out new developments on Nago Island. 5: Visitors check out the new research facilities.-Nationalpic by MALUM NALU 6: Nusa Island Retreat vehicle working on developing new tourism facilities on neighbouing Nago Island. 7: Nusa Island Retreat owner Shaune Keane (centre) at his new workshop on Nuga Island. 8: Pretty as a picture…new facilities on Nuga Island under swaying coconut palms.-Pictures by MALUM NALU

An innovative and exciting development is taking place off Kavieng, New Ireland province, on beautiful Nago Island.

The National Fisheries Authority is building a new research facility on Nago together with housing for its staff and researchers, as well as other associated facilities, at an estimated cost of K6 million.

In June, NFA managing director Sylvester Pokajam signed an agreement with the management of neighboring Nusa Island Retreat for the development of a new tourism facility on Nago Island to sit alongside the new NFA Nago Island Mariculture and Research facility.

“Under this agreement,” he explained, “Nusa will provide the operational services to NFA to allow us to concentrate on the core business of the new facility: the facilitation of research and development in marine resources and culture fisheries.

“This facility will also add a major component to the training and education resources of the National Fisheries College.”                                                                                                                           Mr Pokajam had hoped to open and commission the new facility last Friday, to coincide with the inaugural fisheries and marine resources degree graduation; however, this has been deferred to the New Year.

Last Friday, he took guests and other visitors on a guided tour of the new development, which is a classic example of the much talked-about public-private partnership (PPP).

 NFA principal High Walton told me on Nago that the property development would consist of two houses, one storage shed, an office complex with meeting room, a main research facility with 36 culture tanks, a wet laboratory, a laboratory/office, a workshop, a storeroom, a generator shed, a seawater reticulation system and a fresh water reticulation system.

“Essentially, there is a memorandum of agreement signed between Nusa Island Retreat and NFA,” he said.

“The terms are that we sub-lease half of our site to Nusa to build a resort.

“And they pay us rent for that.

“In return, they provide us all functional services like electricity, diving, grounds security, waste disposal, etc.

“What happens is they give me a bill for service for one month and I give them a bill for rental for one month.

“The advantage for me is that I can just concentrate on the key activity, which is research and facilitating research.”

Mr Walton said National Fisheries College students would have the advantage for a first-class international research centre.

“They’ll do their learning in the aquaculture centre,” he said.

“The advantage for sure is that it’s secure title because it’s State lease and also because it’s another attraction for guests.

“It’s a very attractive place.

“It’s attractive to visting researchers.

“We can offer services to visiting researchers that we can’t offer on our own.

“I think it’s very good to see a statutory authority like the NFA being innovative.

“This is the first of its kind in the country.

“Jais Aben in Madang was doing something similar; however, the difference is that it was an NGO.

“This is a government statutory authority.”

Nusa Island Retreat owner Shaun Keane told me that his company would cater for accommodation for visiting researchers as well as provide services such as a restaurant and bar.

“We’ll initially start with 10 rooms,” he said.

“After five years, there’ll be 30 rooms.”

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