The National, Thursday October 24th, 2013
I WORK with the world‘s largest oil company and my job has taken me around the globe.
While on holiday in my village at the foot of Mt Au, I am beginning to understand why this country is moving forward.
I accept that my village is only accessible by air, but while trying to fly my mum‘s coffee bags out last month, I was shocked at the exorbitant rates charged by the airline company.
Actually the airfreight charge is twice the value of her coffee bags.
The airline‘s excuse was “rising fuel costs”.
Surprisingly, this month’s prices have increased twice, aggravating an already disadvantaged economic outlook.
The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission’s lame excuse is one and the same based on the import parity prices supplied by a certain oil company which has been contracted by the PNG government to monopolise our energy needs for 30 years. Thirty years is too long.
In the days when I was at university, there was a state agent in the consumer affairs bureau regulating prices of major consumer goods, including fuel products.
At the time, the world‘s largest oil companies such as Mobil, Shell and BP operated in PNG but did not dictate to the price controller. This is no longer the case now with one relatively unknown
foreign oil company calling the shots in PNG.
The government needs to grab the bull by the horn and start controlling fuel prices immediately and stop this monopolistic nonsense.
This is not meant to offend anyone but an attempt to call the government to attention so that my mum’s next harvest can be airlifted to Goroka at reasonable cost.