By PETER ESILA
PNG Power Limited is losing about K25 million a month to electricity theft around the country, with some employees involved in the illegal activity, says managing director Flagon Bekker.
Bekker told a PNG Power partnership workshop in Port Moresby yesterday that the company needed to change.
“I want a win-win situation, but I won’t lie,” he said.
“PNG Power needs to change. And the people of PNG wants PNG Power to change. And I can’t let anyone stop me from making those changes that the people need.”
Bekker said most of the electricity theft was happening in Port Moresby by some staff members.
“There is only a skills set that can do it – it is our own people in the organisation,” he said.
Bekker said expressed disappointment that cases of theft reported to police were never prosecuted.
“We report them but nothing happens,” he said. “We have got a lot of people stealing power. Sometimes it is our own people helping (others to) connect and steal power. And we need the unions to help as well.”
He told the people involved: “We know who you are.”
PNG Power employees yesterday called for Bekker’s removal and for Prime Minister James Marape to order an investigation into the state-owned enterprise’s operation.
Bekker said the company’s interest must come first.
“There are things that we can talk about,” he said.
He urged the workers’ trade unions to work with the management in stopping the illegal activity.
“I believe (the union has) the control and ability to help us,” he said.
“We are looking at about K25 million a month nationally.
“If it is stopped, (there will be) higher revenue, more money coming in to pay salaries. And I really want the union to understand that they can do a lot more than what they are doing now to help the business be successful.
“You can’t just keep asking for money when the business is not doing well. We really need the union and us to work together to make PNG Power a success.”
Bekker said the reality was that “we are not paying all our bills. We are earning less than we spend”.
“I appeal to the unions to help us stop workers connecting illegal connection,” he said. “They have the control and ability to do that and I am wondering why they haven’t.”
He said technology would be a solution.
By PETER ESILA