Improve setback to resource payments: PNGEITI

​Revenue from petroleum and mineral sectors have the potential to cure the economic ills of the country when robust regulatory mechanisms are put in place.

In a statement, head of the PNG Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), Lucas Alkan, said reports indicate that a generation of resource projects will boost PNG’s economy on a massive scale however, many mistakes and setbacks needed to be rectified.

Alkan made the comments when responding to comments by Oil Search managing director Peter Botten about the systems hindering PNGLNG landowners’ access to benefits in a timely manner.

Botten said more than one billion dollars in development levies and royalties were not paid due to opaque nature of government processes getting in the way.

Alkan said this was a major concern which needed cooperation from all parties from the public sector to the private sphere as well as development partners.

“One of the ways in which the country can move forward is to correct common mistakes and setbacks. And that requires everyone’s effort, whether it be the landowners, the government or the industry player to build firmer footprints to tackle more complex issues facing the industry,” Alkan said.

“Our job at EITI is to make pubic, primarily through our annual report, updates on what is happening in the industry to stimulate public discourse around pertinent issues worth discussing.

“Our belief is that we are not that late, devoid of the anxieties that have been caused by the slow process, to make things work better for everyone.

“PNGEITI work so far has zoomed in on what the processes and systems are like for the people to see for themselves and we have made considerable progress in this regard.”

Currently a working committee is preparing a draft legislation to give effect to the EITI to carry out its role of promoting transparency and accountability regarding resource revenue.

Cedric Patjole