Dion questions missing funds

National, Normal

EAST New Britain Governor Leo Dion is questioning the delay in payment of K3 million to the Vunamami Farmers Training Centre (VFTC) under the rehabilitation of education sector improvement funds (RESI) programme.
He said VFTC was yet to receive the promised funds.
Mr Dion presented the cheque last September that fulfilled the commitment pledged by Deputy Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu in 2008 when he attended the school’s graduation.
“The cheque for K3 million, which was delivered,  had no value and had to be withheld.
“National Planning Minister Paul Tiensten should explain this to the management and the parents of the school,” he said.
Sir Puka was appalled over the state of deteriorating infrastructure at the school and made the
funding commitment.
Mr Dion had also presented K100,000 from the provincial government as counter part funding of the rehabilitation programme.
The K3 million funding was to be used to set up new building facilities, including dormitories and accommodation for teachers and a new office complex.
VFTC chief Adrian Balagawi confirmed they have not received the K3 million and are waiting patiently.
He announced that 22 members from the Defence Force from Hawaii arrived in the province on Tuesday to begin surveying and scoping the intended work site.
VFTC had been selected by the US government for assistance through its Pacific partnership programme and would undergo some major rehabilitation work on the school’s ailing infrastructure.
Mr Balagawi said infrastructure development would officially begin in August.