Basil queries LNG loan

National, Normal

The National, Friday February 21st, 2014

 Deputy Opposition leader Sam Bail has questioned where the interest from a loan used to finance Government equity in the PNG LNG project went to.

“The Opposition believes that money was transferred in Singapore in the first two years from 2009 to 2011,” he said.

“That meant no interest was received by the State. So where did the interest go?”

Basil asked for the:

  • Complete records of these accounts supplied by the banks to the relevant government authorities as well as to an independent auditor so that any form of corrupt money transfers can be determined; 

government to say if the managing director of the Independent Public Business Corporation had the authority to transfer funds and make decisions without acquiring approval from the National Executive Council or any Government authority; and,

  • Government to say if Kumul Holdings – now the National Petroleum Company of PNG – disbursed any funds for its own costs and what were the audit results of this money use.

“The Opposition firmly believes that there is no audit trail in place regarding the public monies associated with the IPIC loan and therefore request for transparent accountability of the funds usage within the original IPIC loan,” Basil said.

“When Sir Mekere Morauta was the Privatisation Minister, he clearly stated that something was suspicious about the funds used and called for an investigation.

“The Opposition now calls for the same matter to be finalised and not just an empty promise from the current government.”

He urged Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to treat the matter as of national importance.