Post Courier | March 05, 2017
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has come under fire again from the Opposition on the benefits from LNG’s more than 200 shipments.
Mr O’Neill said bigger benefits were looming for the country in the next LNG projects at Port Moresby’s inaugural petroleum and energy summit.
Opposition Leader Don Polye said the Department of Treasury projected that annual proceeds from the first LNG would be up to K4 billion.
“Our alternative government’s question is who will benefit the most? We know these benefits looming in the petroleum and energy sector.
“This is not the first time we will see them coming in from such an international project.
“Our resource owners have missed out on benefits which are rightfully theirs in the first LNG project,” he said.
Mr Polye said the government had betrayed the people.
“Talking about projects after projects will not solve the real problems. There is nothing from the LNG project reflected in national budgets.
“Budget books show nothing. With such disarray in the management of the resources, pushing for another LNG project is unheard of,” he warned.
Sovereign wealth fund, he said, was established outside of the international best practice Santiago principle.
Mr Polye added that the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative was not fully established within the standard frameworks as well.
“We cannot justify discussing another second or third LNG project. We are afraid their proceeds will also go down the same trend.
“I must boldly tell the nation that Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has mismanaged the country’s proceeds from the first LNG project.
The country is in the red. I would like to advice the forum to address these issues,” Mr Polye said.
He warns Total, ExxonMobil and other players that whilst bidding to increase their profitability to serve the interest of shareholders, they have a moral and legal obligation to PNG as well.
“We would like to see responsibility on the part of the developers to create a sustainable economy for PNG.
“When we are in government, we will not only bid for maximum benefits for our resource owners, we will fix SWF and EITI, minimise law and order, restore rule of law and alleviate corruption to make PNG become an attractive investment destination,” Mr Polye said.