PNG owes 20 banks worldwide: O’Neill

Papua New Guinea has borrowed US$19 billion (K58bn) from more than 20 banks around the world to build the PNG LNG Project, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has revealed.

When responding to Opposition Leader Don Polye’s questions on the LNG funds today during question time in Parliament, O’Neill described Polye’s questions as “childish”.

He said Polye was a then government minister who took part in the decision of building the LNG Project and should know better rather than speculate and come up with allegations that the government has misused the LNG funds.

O’Neill said the government must repay this debt as it is not “free money”.

He said the government is not managing the LNG project but the developers, which is ExxonMobil.

“What ExxonMobil is doing is to repay all the debts the government has owed to the banks and whatever is left is distributed to all the key stakeholders,” O’Neill explained.

He said the government has to pay all its debts and nothing sinister is going on with the LNG funds.

“If you have evidence then prove it and table it on the floor of parliament and we will debate on it,” O’Neill told Polye.

Freddy Mou