Country should have construction company


FROM the ruins of the former Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation (PNGBC) sprung the Bank South Pacific Financial Group Ltd (BSP).
BSP is one of the fastest growing commercial bank in the nation’s banking and finance industry, with its operations spread all around the Pacific, including Laos in South East Asia.
No doubt, BSP is the pride of our nation.
The former PNGBC collapsed due to bad management decisions, massive outstanding loans owed by the cronies of those who were in political power as well as of those that were on the bank’s board, including personal loans that were then forfeited and unnecessary interferences from governments then knowing they owned the bank and as such, exploited the trust over the years.
From an outside perspective, if the Government continues to be blinded with its contagious mega spending disease, this could lead to a similar situation faced by the former PNGBC and the former Oil Search Ltd.
As it is, the Government continues to use BSP as its cash cow to fund its respective development plights driven by the ambition to hold on to political power.
BSP stands the fate similar to Oil Search Ltd, which was recently sold away to a foreign company in the cover of increasing the current share values and as such, paved way for a foreign company to take over assets and operations of a national company which was then the pride of Papua New Guinea.
There is nothing sinister about having visions to drive the country forward, however, there are many underlying factors that need not overlooked or undermined as elected leaders when it comes to making prudent management decisions.
The fact remains that development is a process that requires sufficient time, prudent management and leadership skills, sufficient resources and capital from reliable sources, and patience which is distinctive, unique and differs from political rhetoric and agenda when understanding and wisdom prevail.
One should know that money doesn’t grow on trees.
The Government’s own money-making entities under the State-owned enterprise (SOE) are expected to make money for the State.
It is the responsibility of the Government to ensure that these SOEs make money annually to contribute to the Government’s consolidated revenue takings.
In fact, when this Government walked into power two years ago, among the first commitment made by Prime Minister James Marape was to get all chief executive officers of the government departments, agencies, and SOEs to provide their strategies, including their key performing indicators to the Government, purposely to demonstrate their competencies with the deliveries of goods and services and their projections on how to make money as reliable State entities.
In the public services domain, the Department of Personnel Management somewhat has lost track to effectively monitor the heads of government departments.
A number of advertisements in the daily newspapers by the department regarding this concern are seen as just window dressing.
The responsibility has been assigned to the human resources of the respective organisations to get their chief executive officers to comply with the political directive, which one sees is not workable in a professional environment.
How can human resource subordinate make a departmental head adhere to government directive, when the Department of Personnel Management secretary is supposed to do that in terms of authority and responsibility vested in the position?
As usual, politicians would do anything within their power to stay in power.
As the nation has read about Marape writing to BSP for an assistance of K2 billion loan to assist with his Connect PNG road plan, as reported in The National on Dec 15, much concern would now be placed on BSP and other key financial institutions such as Nasfund regarding their future financial strength and prosperity knowing too well that they would continue to be used as cash cows for the Government whenever it feels it wants cash.
At this juncture, I would like to suggest to BSP, Nasfund and POSF Superfund to widen their commercial scopes and consolidate their commercial interests. PNG needs to have a construction company as competent as the China Railway Industry and this is the time to develop such competent mega highway construction consortium.
Why should PNG’s hard earned monies be given away to a foreign-owned construction company and taken out of the country whilst awaiting the Government to repay its loans.
It’s time we put a stop to such short-sighted practices and pull the Government in line.
While the Government is busy striving to develop national road network through massive internal loans, let our banking and financial industry use the opportunity to develop PNG’s road construction consortium through such suggested approaches and minimise further capital drainages from the Government and its agents.

Emmanuel Allen Mungu,
Son of Finschhafen,
Port Moresby

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