by Bethanie Harriman – EM TV, Lae
Morobe Governor, Kelly Naru, announced that funding would be made available for the completion of the Lutheran University of Papua New Guinea.
He revealed this on Wednesday afternoon, after dialogue with another committee representing the Evangelical Lutheran Church Council.
Work on the university’s completion has been delayed, due to funding constraints and on-going conflict between two committees established from Acts passed in Parliament.
Governor Naru has called for talks with the committee formed after the Lutheran University Act 2012 was passed. He said, it must happen before the Morobe Provincial Government can continue funding the development of the Lutheran University.
“I’ll send word to the ELC Council and their 2012 Act committee to have dialogue to allow the remaining work to be done, so the university to be completed,” said Naru.
The 2012 Act committee led by the Director of the PNG Medical Research Institute, Dr Peter Siba, has immense backing from the Evangelical Lutheran Church council.
ELC Council Chairman, Qogi Zonggoreng, during the council meeting last week explained that the council has opted to support the Lutheran University Act 2012 because the previous 2006 Act does not include the interests of the church.
“Last November the National Parliament repealed the Lutheran University Act 2012 which was the foundation for the ELC Council’s approved plans to develop the University, this unfortunate action caused great disappointment in the Council,” said Zonggoreng.
Funds allocated to the 2006 Act committee have also been questioned. ELC Treasurer, Noreo Keindip said the twenty million kina given by the National Government to the 2006 Act, along with the two million kina from the Morobe Provincial Government are not in the ELC PNG accounts.
“There has to be an investigation to find out the spending of this twenty two million Kina,” said Keindip during the ELC Council meeting.
Late yesterday afternoon, Project Director, Dr Brent Kilback gave a report of the expenditure of the committee created by the 2006 Act. Dr Kilback also took the governor on a tour of the facilities already being built by the 2006 Act Committee.
“Every Toea spent is contained in the compiled booklet in front of you governor,” said Dr Kilback.
The committee created by the 2006 Act, includes Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato and Chief Secretary, Sir Manasupe Zurenoc.
Governor Naru said the provincial government will fund the completion of the Lutheran University, but there has to be one committee working to complete the project.