PNG Power pays K5m to state

National, Normal

The National, Friday 26th April 2013

 PNG POWER Ltd (PPL) yesterday paid a dividend of K5 million to the state – its first in 50 years of existence as a state-owned utilities company.

And in the same announcement, Public Enterprise and State Investment Minister Ben Micah revealed the resignation of PPL chief executive officer Tony Koiri, the man responsible for the dividend payment.

In 2012, PPL’s profit was K50 million, of which 10% of it was paid as the dividend to the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC).

Micah commended PPL for the 10% dividend payment to the government.

He said the National Executive Council was looking at the ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the fisheries sector and tourism among others, to increase their capability within the ownership.

Outgoing CEO Tony Koiri said the dividend was the result of the challenge by Minister Micah for all SOEs to operate as private businesses.

“PNG Power has responded with this K5 million based on our net profit of K50.3 million”, he said.

Koiri said the company’s board and management decided to make the payment to support the government in its vision to provide health and education services to the people.

Koiri’s resignation from the company is effective today, based on personal grounds.

“I would also like to stress that there are no other influences that have led to my resignation,” Koiri said amid speculation that he may have been forced to relinquish his position as the government embarks on a major restructuring of the state’s mining and petroleum assets and SOEs.