The Nasfund story


ON Friday, Jan 26, The National published a valuable story of the sole survivor of the cleansing that constituted one of the many critical interventions and
developments that redeemed Nasfund.
Though that story mentioned nothing of what actually triggered the commission of inquiry into the affairs of the National Provident Fund (NPF), hence the cleansing thereafter, it carries a lot of credible, valuable and insightful messages that PNG as a
nation can reflect on and benefit from.
I thank Malum Nalu for writing that story of his interview of Ian Tarutia – the sole survivor of the NPF cleansing of the late 1990s – who now is the CEO of the super fund. What captures my attention is the essence and credence of statements made by Tarutia that all have a bigger and valuable application with regard to governance of public enterprises in PNG.
The NPF saga is now water under the bridge, but the history of what happened remains an eternal lesson that is worth consuming in the PNG context.
What is rife in the operational management of public enterprises are the practices of corruption, political and government interference, advancing of private agenda in sabotage of public interest
using these entities, and the absence of foresight and will for
putting in place protective legislative instruments for these enterprises.
If these evils were not rampant in PNG, there would have been others surviving the NPF cleansing with Tarutia.
It is therefore necessary that this story be discussed over again, lest we uncaringly forget.
Let me also state here that Sir Mekere Morauta, who was responsible for putting in place all the legislative reforms which rescued and protected public enterprises, including Nasfund, from the spite of these evils did also said once that “corruption in PNG is systemic and systematic”.
If Sir Mekere was the ‘Moses’, Ian Tarutia was the ‘Joshua’, and Nasfund ‘Israel’ one tacit message this story tells also is that it is now scarce to find characters of moral standing and ethics as Tarutia and Sir Mekere.

Nelson Kumosa

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