Governor: “corporate giants bullied PNG politicians into a substandard agreement”
Radio New Zealand | 16 May 2018
The Governor of Papua New Guinea’s Hela province has criticised developers of the LNG gas project over lack of payments to his province.
Philip Undialu said when establishing the project, corporate giants bullied PNG politicians into a substandard agreement.
The Governor said Provincial Governments of the LNG Project area lost nearly US$240 million in Development Levies and Royalties over the last four years.
Mr Undialu said there were hundreds of millions more dollars in royalties which Hela people should have been paid.
He called on lead developer ExxonMobil and its project partner Oil Search to admit this failure and pay Hela what belongs to its people, saying the province desperately needs money after February’s major earthquake.
His comments come after the Oil Search chairman said community discontent and violence around the project was not his company’s fault but a result of the PNG government’s failure to distribute royalties.
“It is pathetic for Chairman of Oil Search to attack the Government after robbing it’s people through a flawed agreement the Somare Government facilitated between 2008 to 2010,” Mr Undialu said.
“It’s by time we take everything back to round table and ascertain who is to be blamed.
“This is a human rights issue and I will not allow my people being deprived of. I need those monies to rebuild infrastructure devastated by the earthquake disaster… so we will rebuild our communities.”