Director clarifies query

National

BY JEFFREY ELAPA
BOARD trustees make all investment decisions under Mineral Resource Development Corporation (MRDC) even though MRDC was the trust manager, its managing director Augustine Mano says.
He said a trustee board made the decision for the withdrawal and use of the K10 million that was a subject of query in Parliament last week.
The matter is with police.
Mano said the issue was raised by Moresby North-West MP Sir Mekere Morauta, who claimed that according to information from reliable people, MRDC did not use the investment by landowners for the intended purpose.
Sir Mekere claimed that K30 million was allegedly withdrawn from an MRDC subsidiary’s account in November last year.
He said landowners had the right to know the details of the processes involved in its use, the people responsible, the purpose of the expenditure and the ultimate destination of the funds.
Mano said the three board of trustees (Petroleum Resource Kutubu, Petroleum Resource Gobe and Mineral Resource Star Mountains) met and deliberated on any decision and one of them was the K10 million.
He said the transaction was an internal commercial arrangement that was paid with interest and done in good faith, there was no sinister motive behind it.
Mano said the matter was referred to the police fraud squad and he could not comment further on it as it would pre-empt police investigations.
Mano said John Kapi, director of Petroleum Resources Kutubu, the major shareholder of Star Mountain Plaza Ltd (Hilton Hotel) in Port Moresby, had explained in full in a media advertorial but for the benefit of the public, he said nothing was hidden as all investment decisions were made by the board.
“All investment decisions are made by the trustees and not by MRDC.
“The K10 million (not K30 million) that was referred was satisfied by the board.
“Kapi explained that clearly in the advertorial what the K10 million was used for and that there was no criminality involved in the transaction,” Mano said.
“The board has all cleared it that the transaction was done in good faith.
“They are landowner companies (trustees) and they make their decisions. The board includes the impacted provincial governors.”
Mano said the three trustee boards were satisfied that funds were used for the intended purposes.
Mano said in terms of accounts, all boards were aware of them as reports were presented to them and they (respective boards) approved the subsidiary accounts held by MRDC.
He said each subsidiary reported to their shareholders.
Mano said only MRDC accounts were presented to the shareholder, which was the prime minister.
“There is no secret.
“The audited report of MRDC will be presented to the shareholder when requested so that it can be presented to Parliament while the other subsidiary companies have their three independent directors as ex-officio.”
Prime Minister James Marape had told Parliament that when the K10 million matter was raised, he referred it to police.

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