The Magi Highway Service Station launched on Wednesday paves way for economic development for locals and for better services to be reached in rural areas.
A local business man saw the need for a bigger shop and through sheer determination ends up with a shop and a service station that may attract more customers given the need for fuel in rural areas.
The businessman Mr Philip Auo was all smiles this week (Wednesday) when he launched and opened the Magi Highway Service Station at the Gabagaba Junction in Rigo District, Central province with the support and partnership of Total and Rigo MP Captain Lekwa Gure.
“I have a small shop but didn’t have enough space, so I wanted to build a bigger shop and thought a service station would do well with it”, said Mr Auo.
It wasn’t easy for Mr Auo to build a bigger store after 25 years in public service and retiring in 2004.
“I went around and spoke to Mobile, I spoke to Puma but did not get a response, so when Total came in, we spoke to them.
“They were willing to take the risk to come outside of the city, “said Auo.
With the launching of the Magi Highway Service station, Auo said he has already rallied youths from around the area who will now work in the shop and the service station.
“A lot of them (youths) from the village work in construction companies in town, for 6 months, 8 months, a year and then stay at home doing nothing”, said Auo.
He has now employed more than youths from the villages to work at the station and shop.
He said the setting up of the service station and shop costed almost K2 million.
The funds, over a million was loaned from the National Development Bank, assisted by the Provincial Government and supported by Total.
He added that the government has sealed roads and brought power to the district and people must seize the opportunity.
Meanwhile, Total’s Vice President South Pacific/Indian Ocean Mr Oliver Chalvon Demersay said the service station is the 7th one built and they anticipate in increasing the number to 12 by the end of this year.
“We do believe that it’s a good provision,because we know that you cannot be in the market only in the capital cities,
“It’s not only Port Moresby, and this service station is an existing example that we want to be close to the customer.
“Far from the cities is where the customer can be sure to find good quality service and products at normal prices”, Mr Demersay said.
He said the stations are always full; “and we want to make sure that you (customer) do not suffer from shortage of fuel”,said Demersay.
The locals said the service station will help many local business men with PMV trucks with fuel when transporting villagers to and from Port Moresby and Central.