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Need for more funds

Nasik Swami
Thursday, January 09, 2014

PLANS to establish the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) regional police academy in Fiji remain in limbo as the Defence Ministry calls for more funding to construct the proposed institution.

Yesterday the Indonesian Government injected $US500,000 ($F936,849) as the first funding for the construction of the academy.

Defence Minister Joketani Cokanasiga said more than $20m was needed for the project, which is expected to be built at Nabukavesi, outside Lami Town.

The project had been scheduled for construction in 2011.

"The academy would have been established long time ago but funding is an issue because it's regional — we have to be mindful," he said.

Mr Cokanasiga said the issue now was how to progress, adding with the Indonesian Government injecting the first funds, more funds from donor agencies would enable construction.

The handover was made to Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama by Indonesian Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Lieutenant General Langgeng Sulistiyono.

"I think it is a timely donation because this has been going on since 2011 and one of the issues that we have is how we progress this. This is the first funding from our donor agents," Mr Cokanasiga said.

He said Fiji was contributing towards the establishment of the academy through an interim academy at Nasese and from the ministry's budget.

The academy will train police officers from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.

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