The National – Wednesday, December 22, 2010
By JEFFREY ELAPA
A LOCAL landowner telecommunication company has come out strongly against the government’s engagement of Oil Search and ExxonMobil to own 50% share in the proposed broadband network.
Chairman of Vision Communication Ltd Dickson Ango told The National that broadband networking and any other telecommunication work should be the responsibility of Telikom PNG and other national companies.
He said the gas and oil developers were foreign companies that should be users and clients to PNG companies and not involved also in the telecommunications industry.
He said K157 million was not a huge sum of money and such projects should be done and owned by Papua New Guineans in partnership with the provincial governments and the national government through state-owned entities.
Ango said that Vision Communication was a company owned by all landowners and they had the capacity to own 50% what the oil and gas developers could own.
“The 33.33% and 16.67% owned by ExxonMobil and Oil Search as indicated by the minister should now be given to the landowners so that they meaningfully participate in business opportunities,” he said.
He said the service should not be sold to foreigners as local firms had the capacity to source for capital to carry out such projects.
Ango appealed to State Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare to serve the interests of the citizens first before that of foreigners by allowing them to own and take part in the extraction of our resources while at the same time allowing them to take part in the industry.
He said, as an established landowner company, they should be given the opportunity to participate so that the oil and gas industry could become clients “It’s daylight robbery for huge foreign companies like ExxonMobil and Oil Search to also participate in telecommunication services and, therefore, we are now asking Somare to give the 50% that we take part in business as landowners,” Ango said.