The National – Tuesday, February 15, 2011
KOKOPO Microfinance Ltd (KML) in East New Britain must have recognition and support from all five local members of parliament.
Senior statesman and former member for Kokopo Sir Rabbie Namaliu said this recently during the launching of KML’s five new products.
He said the institution, when established in 2004, was meant for the people in the Kokopo district but people in Pomio, Rabaul and Gazelle also expressed keen interest to join the institution and the KML board had to open up membership.
To this day, membership has spread to parts of New Ireland and West New Britain.
Sir Rabbie appealed to Governor Leo Dion and all open members to acknowledge the work of KML and to support and increase the capital base of KML whose motto is “Banking for the unbanked”.
He said the best way the provincial government could assist KML was to have the East New Britain Development Corporation, which was a major player at the provincial and national level, inject dividends into KML and other vital institutions such as ENB Savings and Loans Society to help in their endeavours.
He said various institutions must explore the possibility of working together to benefit the people.
Sir Rabbie had put in an initial funding of K250,000 used to establish KML initially in 2004 while Dion had made a special contribution of K20,000 in 2005.
In 2004, the Kokopo joint district planning and budget priorities committee approved seed capital of K450,000 towards KML. K250,000 of that money was put by Sir Rabbie.
The balance of K200,000 came later in 2009 by current Kokopo member Patrick Tammur.
Meanwhile, Dion pledged another K200,000 to KML saying it was even better than money scheme U-Vistract.
He said leaders in government had the responsibility to try and create a conducive environment for people to participate in the economy building.