The Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PNG NRI) reopened its conference centre after it was closed for refurbishment a couple of years back.
The occasion was marked by the head of the project, PNG NRI Deputy Director for Corporate Dr. Esther Lavu, handing the keys to the refurbished conference centre to the PNG NRI Acting Director Dr. Osborne Sanida.
“I acknowledge and thank the NRI Management, the NRI Tenders Committee and the Corporate team, particularly the Grounds and Facilities Manager (Logo Lotu) and the Finance Manager (Ricky Daniel) for upholding the procurement process and implementing with great effort,” she said.
“I am happy to share that this facility will be valuable to the Institute and PNG NRI partners and key stakeholders, we therefore, extend invitation to them to use the facility.”
JJW Limited was engaged for seven weeks to complete the project starting 6 March 2021. However, the project was stalled because of the COVID-19 lockdown, fumigation of the office areas and the Easter break also added to the delays.
Dr. Lavu said “with the variation arrangements, we catered for additional weeks to complete the planned project. Despite the challenges that presented in various forms, I am happy to announce that today is the beginning of PNG NRI’s recovery from the demolishing exercise that begun few years ago”.
Over K250,000 was spent to complete Stage One of the refurbishment program.
In declaring the refurbished conference centre open, Dr. Sanida thanked Dr. Lavu and her team for ensuring work progressed well and extended his gratitude to the contractor for working tirelessly to ensure work finished in time for the first users of the facility.
He said when the facility was originally completed in 2010, it played an important role in hosting seminars, conferences, meetings and graduations.
“It was a vital avenue for informing and influencing (decision-makers). A lot of research papers were launched here. A lot of debates and discussions were held here – a notable one in recent times was the Political Party Policy Forum in 2017 that saw a number of our political parties presenting their policy platforms,” Dr. Sanida said, adding “the centre also contributed to our internal revenue through venue hires.”
When the interior was torn down in 2018 for refurbishment, all activities stopped. Funding constraint slowed the refurbishment.
“We are thankful to the PNG NRI Council for its approval to utilize internal funding arrangement to fund the refurbishment. It is now completed and the Inform and Influence business at this facility is back,” Dr. Sanida said.
The Media Release can be accessed on the PNG NRI website https://www.pngnri.org.
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Authorised for release by:
Dr. Osborne Sanida
PNG NRI Acting Director