Churches, Govt enter deal

The PNG Council of Churches has entered into a unique partnership with the PNG Government to assist with the rollout of SIM card registrations into the remotest parts of the country.

This partnership was led yesterday by the Minister for IT, Communication and Energy, Sam Basil.

Basil said the idea is to reach the 1.5 million subscribers yet to be registered.

The Government will use the extensive network of the churches to fast track the registration process, with a due date set for April 30.

PNGCC comprises of seven mainline churches with over 6.3 million members nationwide and growing.

PNGCC also includes 15 associate members.

This provides a very extensive and effective network right down to the LLGs.

Archbishop of Port Moresby Sir John Cardinal Ribat welcomed this partnership, calling it a milestone between the two.

And while this is between PNGCC and the Government, Ribat said other churches can come on board.

But first of all, missionaries, pastors, ministers, priests, clergymen, laymen countrywide will be trained and skilled to carry out awareness through their connection.

The first regional sensitisation workshop kicks off this Friday at Mt Hagen, covering the Highlands Region.

Regional workshops will follow in Kokopo for the New Guinea Islands, Lae for Momase and POM for Southern Region.

NICTA has allocated K300,000 for these regional workshops.

Minister Basil said the willingness by the churches was a sign of solidarity and unity.

Gloria Bauai