NEW Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan promised to subsidise school fees for students from his province attending tertiary institutions by 75%.
The former prime minister was in Goroka yesterday at the invitation of a women’s group to close a three-week training course for piggery projects at Faniufa village outside Goroka town.
Sir Julius made the commitment after New Ireland students at the University of Goroka turned out in their traditional red laplap, bare chest and head dresses armed with Tolai basket to welcome him at the Goroka airport.
The student took the opportunity to ask him to increase the fee subsidy from the current 25% to 75%.
Sir Julius promised to look into their request, saying his provincial government is providing free elementary education through to Grade 8 effective this year.
He said they were providing a 75% subsidy from Grade 9-12, adding that they could continue this to tertiary levels.
Sir Julius, however, said the National Government had neglected to meet its obligation under the Lihir memorandum of agreement where New Irelanders had not received K400 million in benefits.
“The national bureaucrats are the worst, even when the Prime Minister himself gave direct orders to heads of departments about the Lihir arrears to the New Ireland provincial government, these bureaucrats ignored them,” he said.
He said these bureaucrats had to learn that they were servants of the people and not their masters when they were referred to the Ombudsman Commission.
Sir Julius said he instructed his lawyers to serve papers to Chief Ombudsman Chronox Manek for alleged serious breaches of Lihir gold mine MoA by executive bureaucrats of the Government.