The National, Wednesday October 30th, 2013
HEADS are expected to roll as an angry Prime Minister Peter O’Neill blasts the PNG Power Ltd top brass for globe-trotting while the country continues to suffer from power blackouts.
PNG Power chief executive officer John Tangit, board chairman Joshua Bakiri, other management staff and board members are overseas while power blackouts continue to affect the people every day.
A PNG Power entourage is said to have followed O’Neill on his visit to Israel recently despite not being part of the official delegation.
The group then went to Iceland to sign an agreement on geothermal power, something the prime minister said was completely unnecessary.
Last Friday, O’Neill summoned Tangit to his office but the PM was told that Tangit was away overseas.
One of his deputies came in his place.
O’Neill was fuming yesterday when he read in the newspapers about Lae being without power for two days.
“I’m very concerned that there is no effort being made by PNG Power,” he said.
“Despite recent changes to the management, the old culture of complacency is still there.
“Again, constant trips overseas are not helping the situation. They have to stay back and take charge of this. Right now, the entire management and board are on a trip overseas.
“I don’t know what they’re doing, but I can assure you that some tough decisions will be made in the coming weeks to restore this organisation that is very vital to provide services to our people.
“I can’t sit here and continue to accept blackouts and no solution to this problem. Our people deserve better.
“People are complacent about what their responsibility is.
“If something breaks down in power, if you’re an executive of that, you have to fix it.
“Last Friday, I summoned the CEO of PNG Power to my office, he’s not around. This has been constantly happening over the last few months and I’m very disappointed.
“I will get to the bottom of this and I will make relevant improvements in the near future.”
O’Neill rubbished the Iceland agreement.
“MOUs don’t mean much to me. That doesn’t solve the blackouts that we have.
“We have a long list of MOUs that we have signed since Independence and self-government that will take us to the moon and back,” he said.
“Let’s be realistic.”