Minister Lera made this known to New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully at the Kuri Village Resort on Tuesday during his two days official visit in Bougainville.
Lera thanked the New Zealand Government for their continuous Aid funding under the Governance and Implementation Facility program.
“In my view any form of Aid funding on Bougainville should really target those programs that will have a real impact on Bougainville and its people,” Minister Lera said.
He said these programs include the Law and Justice- (Bougainville Community Policing Program), Infrastructure- (Town Electrification Improvement Program), Health- (Bougainville Healthy Communities Program), Agriculture- (Caritas Sustainable Agriculture and Resilience in PNG) and Education- (Scholarships to New Zealand Universities).
“As such I am calling on the New Zealand Government to assist Bougainville by focusing on developing its human capital,” he said.
Lera said he believes that in order to build a nation one has to develop its human capital first which are the people because his vision is “To Develop People and To Build a Nation.”
Minister Lera revealed that currently there is completely lack of appropriate trained, skilled and qualified personnel on Bougainville, thus resulting in the lack of overall good governance, attitudes, practices and performances and high level hypothetical and intellectual political debates and policies on issues affecting the people.
“My passion is to focus on education and develop Bougainville’s human capital for a better and fully developed Bougainville,” Lera said.
He is requesting the New Zealand Government for their assistance to realise this goals and dreams particularly making reference to education at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels.
Lera said if people are develop to the level they will be able to sustain these aid programs mentioned or any other programs in the future.
Minister Lera said his is committed to continue to nurture this special and unique bond between Bougainville and New Zealand.
He urged the New Zealand Government to continue to work in very close collaboration with the duly elected members, as they are very well versed with the needs and wants of their people.