Basil Is Acting PM

Prime Minister James Marape has appointed his Deputy, Sam Basil as Acting Prime Minister during his absence from the country over the next two weeks.

He announced this at the Jacksons International Airport today, before he departed for the People’s Republic of China. He will later travel to France on official government engagements.

Prime Minister Marape is leading a small delegation of senior ministers including Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua and Trade, Commerce & Industry Minister William Samb and Fisheries Minister, Dr. Lino Tom.

His visit to China is on the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping to witness the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Prime Minister Marape will later hold discussions on bringing Chinese investors into the downstream processing sector in PNG.

During his absence, he has tasked Acting Prime Minister Sam Basil to progress the Wafi-Golpu Mine in Lae, Morobe Province with the State Negotiation Team later next week.

“In my absence, the relevant ministers as well as the Acting Prime Minister, the Hon. Sam Basil will progress those government agendas,” he said.

The Prime Minister’s delegation will be in China from the 4th to 8th February before leaving for France from 9-13th February 2022.

France President Emmanuel Macron has invited Prime Minister Marape for the ‘One Ocean Summit’.

Later the PNG delegation is expected to hold discussions with the Senior Vice President of Total Energies, Patrick Pouyanne to further the Papua LNG project.        

Marysila Kellerton