Head of the PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) National Secretariat, Lucas Alkan, said it would be interesting to see how negotiations take place as the government proceeds with preparation for negotiating the Wafi Golpu project, the Woodlark and Kainantu Gold Mines MOA reviews and other projects in the pipeline.
Alkan said the Government’s commitment to implementing EITI will not increase transparency overnight, however, it will assist the government to manage the extractive sector in a more inclusive and transparent manner.
He added that highlighting transparency will also assist in minimising public speculations and distrust towards the government.
“The EITI framework works to assist in bringing various sectors of the economy together and builds trust amongst them and creates a platform for these issues to be discussed so that solutions could be found together for better management of the sector.
“Now that PNG is an EITI implementing country, the Government should not lose traction on EITI implementation. It stands to gain from implementing EITI because of the potential governance gains associated with it.
Alkan said PNG still has a lot of work to do when it comes to citizen engagement.
“According to the World Bank’s World Governance Index 2018 edition, PNG scored very low on the ‘voice and accountability’ indicator which indicates weak performance,” he said.
“As an EITI implementing country, mining and petroleum impacted communities and civil societies have a platform to access information and constructively engage with companies and the government on resource governance issues,” Alkan said.
(File photo: Members of the PNGEITI and Mineral Resources Authority with, centre, Huon Gulf Open MP Ross Seymour, in 2018, after an outreach information session conducted for the stakeholders of the Wafi-Golpu project. The outreach was conducted by PNGEITI in preparation for MRA Mining Development Forum, which was held later in the same year)