By MALUM NALU
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) has not delivered its core mandate since its inception in 2002.
“IPBC was created for a specific purpose and not to be involved in risk taking commercial ventures, and the financing of the LNG project through IPBC is an example of how this entity’s conduct has strained the state’s resources, and incurred additional costs to the state,” he said.
“The restructure of IPBC will ensure that the focus is on rehabilitation through a public private partnership for our state owned businesses like Air Niugini, Eda Ranu, PNG Power and PNG Ports Corporation so the delivery of the services they provide improves at a cost affordable to our people.
“This is the mandate of IPBC.”
Under the restructure, a trust created will be known as the Kumul Trust.
The serving prime minister will hold a special share called the Kumul Share (having veto power), while all the former prime ministers will jointly hold an ordinary share.
“By having our former prime ministers as shareholder/trustees, we will be drawing from their wisdom and vast experience,” O’Neill said.
“I’m confident this structure will have political and commercial integrity.”
The Kumul Trust will be managed by independent and highly professional managers.
“Today’s announcement delivers on my commitment that the government’s investments, on behalf of the people, will be managed in a transparent, competent and accountable way,” O’Neill said,
“I’m certain these changes will be welcomed by the people of Papua New Guinea, and especially landowners in resource development areas.
“I’m also certain they will be welcomed by companies we are partners with in the development of our mining, oil and gas resources.”
O’Neill said all staff of Petromin and IPBC would be redeployed to the new entities, and would not suffer any loss of entitlements.
He said legislations to give effect to the new structure were now being prepared for parliament to approve.