Nation Briefs

Briefs, National

Call to appoint new CIC boss
A PROMINENT scientist and agriculture consultant is appealing to the Government to appoint a new chief executive officer for the Coffee Industry Corporation. “The current CEO, Ricky Mitio, has been in the chair for far too long, during which time, coffee production has been on a downward trend,” the scientist said. “It is a clear display of a lack of innovation and ideas to promote production and simply being out of touch with growers. In 1998, production peaked at 1.3 million bags but has since been on the decline to under a million bags on average over the past 10 years. “The industry requires an injection of new blood that is not only well-qualified, has high ethical standards and experience to lead the industry, but brilliant to bring innovation and has a true heart to serve the 400,000-plus coffee-holders in PNG,” the scientist said. 



Ex-BSP worker  in fraud case
FORMER Bank of South Pacific employee Faitele Tavui has been charged with conspiring with another colleague to defraud up to K14 million. Tavui appeared before the committal court in Port Moresby presided by Magistrate Pinson Pindipia, on Tuesday. The court heard that between 2003 and July this year, Tavui was employed by BSP as a team leader for the cash distribution centre in Port Moresby. It was there that he allegedly conspired with one Isaiah Topelemu to defraud BSP off the sum of K14,792,909.92. Tavui’s case has been adjourned to next month as his counsel Zacchary Gelu of Patterson Lawyers, argued that he had been arrested without sufficient evidence. The defendant is out on a bail of K7,000.



New head for landowners
THE Kurumbukari Landowners Association of the Ramu nickel project in Madang province has appointed a new chairman recently to represent their association.  The new chairman is David Tigabu, who was appointed unopposed by 14 committee members of the association on Monday during their meeting at the Madang provincial government office. Mr Tigabu replaced former chairman Tobby Bare whose three-year term ended last month. Mr Tigabu said he was happy to become the new chairman and would work hard to settle all the outstanding landowner issues. He said one of his first tasks was to propose for the review of the memorandum of understanding (MoA) between landowners and the project developers.



Danaya in the dark
WESTERN province Governor Dr Bob Danaya has called on authorities to clearly stipulate the duties and responsibilities of the Border Authority Office. Dr Danaya said since its creation, he had not been briefed on its functions and operations, and progress so far. He also wants to know how the K40 million, which was allocated by the Government would be used. He asked  the board and its management to formally advise him on its budgetary report, the benefits and the criteria of distribution. “It is vital that Western province and its government must not be isolated in this regard but must be involved from planning to implementation,” Dr Danaya said.



Materials for Lihir schools 
THE standard of education in Lihir Island has been a concern but a more positive outlook has occurred  thanks to Nimamar LLG education co-coordinator, Kenneth Baras. Schools are now equipped with the much needed 29 cartons of school materials which have already been distributed to all primary and elementary schools on the island with a breakthrough in obtaining the first shipment of teaching aides, teachers guide and students activity books. Mr Baras said it was time something was done to alleviate the problem once and for all.