LOTIC Bige Limited (LBL), a local umbrella company owned by the people of Lower Ok Tedi, recently opened a new medical centre in Kiunga on Thursday 18 June.
OTML Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Musje Werror who opened the new facility commended LBL for its foresight in establishing such a service which will now provide the people of Kiunga and other surrounding communities an alternative health care service.
“Each year Ok Tedi spends millions of Kina in contracts to local and PNG companies. To see a landowner company invest some of the profits it generates from the mine back into the community makes me proud,” he said.
In 2019, OTML spent over PGK 1.4 billion in contracts awarded to local and PNG companies compared to PGK 420 million in 2018.
“OTML generates significant benefits for the people of the Western Province and unfortunately there is little to show for. The example LBL has set is a small but major step in the right direction and I encourage the other landowner companies to consider investing some of their profits back in the Province,” Mr Werror added.
The new medical centre, called the Western Medicare Limited, will provide general consultation and treatment while cases that need special medical attention will be referred to the Tabubil Hospital and other medical facilities in the province. The centre will have a doctor, a pharmacist, a registered nurse and administration staff.
LBL Board Chairman Ketu Nuri said, “It is in the company’s and the people’s interest that we the revenue we receive from the mine must be re-invested back into the community in the form of goods and services to sustain and improve their livelihood”.
LBL has been providing personnel placement, contract management, catering, fuel supply and transportation services to OTML since 2010. The company has also recently ventured into retailing by acquiring and operating a retail supermarket in Kiunga.