Investigate MRDC and Petroleum Resources Gobe

Ensure politically connected do not out laws

Mack Lone Bolan | Post Courier | 28 August 2019

Taking back PNG also means ensuring that the politically connected do not out our laws – the case of MRDC.

It is quite alarming to witness that the Office of the Prime Minister and other responsible agencies of government have not found it necessary to inquire into what is unfolding at the MRDC and inform the public to reduce their apprehensions about the government’s resolve on curbing corruption.

We have the chairman of the trustee company, the Petroleum Resources Gobe Ltd (PRG) Philip Kende and the managing director of the manager (MRDC) Mr Augustine Mano engaged in open war of words over a K30.3m which disappeared just weeks before the recent vote of no confidence and there is plenty of speculation surrounding it.

The MRDC is just the manager of the trustee and therefore does not have the authority to be involved in anything relating to policies over the GLC process and the amendments to the provisions of the Oil and Gas Act on the management of the trust funds.

The Chief Secretary to Government, Isaac Lupari, is the chairman of the board of the manager – MRDC. He would be in a unique position to assist the government and inform the project area landowners what the truth is about the missing millions of kina not only the K30.3m but also the K200m reported in the newspapers in December last year.

In the interest of fairness, both men (Kende and Mano) ought to be sidelined and allow the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Squad led by Chief Superintendent Mathew Damaru with his Officers to have free access to the records and interview staff at the MRDC to settle these things quickly.

The Minister for Petroleum would need to ensure that the Department of Petroleum is still responsible for policy issues in the sector and not stand by and have this function or parts of it performed by someone else such as overseeing the GLC process.

We would really like to believe that the days of “if you are politically connected, you can do anything” are gone but cannot begin to talk about “Taking Back PNG” when we still have an environment where the politically connected feel they can still continue to do anything.

Tok pisin bilong Waigani must stop. Commission and inducements for processing papers, clearing things, responding to correspondences and securing approvals etc. would have to be things of the past.

Only when we have overcome all of the above and more can we begin to feel that we are Taking Back PNG.

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Filed under Corruption, Financial returns

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