The National, Wednesday October 30th, 2013
A NEW chief executive officer of the PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd is expected to be appointed today by the National Executive Council. This follows the sacking of David Sode last week.
Workers who were laid off last week by PNGSDP have been instructed to return to work, and all projects cancelled by PNGSDP are to resume immediately.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill confirmed this yesterday after he appeared on FM 100’s Talkback Show.
“I advise that a new CEO will be appointed tomorrow (today) by Cabinet,” he said. “That appointment will take day-to-day control of the management.
“We have advised that staff return to work, all the staff.
“Those who want to decline continued employment, that’s fine, that’s welcome, but nobody will be terminated as such.
“Most of the staff will be reinstated including those who are working for Cloudy Bay and many of the other investments that Sustainable has made. In terms of the projects, I state this again, there is no need for any project to be put on hold.
“Thereare sufficient funds held by Sustainable here in PNG for these projects.
“Relating to Western province, there are sufficient funds in the Long Term Fund in Singapore that are targeted for these projects in Western.
“There is no need for them to shut down. We will go through each project and sit down with each of them.
“I’m advised that Ok Tedi mine has already taken over all the projects that Sustainable has been implementing in Ok Tedi so there is continuity, including the funding of the high school.
“Funding of the elementary schools, some of the community projects that are being carried out in Western, are being carried over by Ok Tedi Mining Ltd.”
The NEC last Wednesday removed all PNGSDP board members and appointed a transitional management team headed by Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc, Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele and Western Administrator Dr Modowa Gumoi.
“Our aim is to stabilise that company and we have given directions that they take over the management of the assets of Sustainable, they’ve frozen the bank accounts of Sustainable so that there is no more leakages and unnecessary expenditure that has recently been expanded.”