I COMMEND former prime minister and Ialibu-Pangia MP Peter O’Neill for being one of the longest serving MPs.
He ensured infrastructure projects that the country lacked were built.
Some of these infrastructure include roads, buildings, bridges, wharves, airstrips and major highway expansions.
I give credit to where it is due as he is one of the best strategic managers of our time.
These infrastructure are fundamental to the socio-economic development of any third-world nation such as Papua New Guinea.
When O’Neill came to power in 2010, the economy was doing well.
Between 2011 and 2014, while riding on the comforts of the economic cushion created by PNG’s founding father late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare under the National Alliance party, O’Neill was anticipating a huge windfall of revenue from the PNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) proceeds, which was expected to start its first export shipment in 2014.
The nation did not know how much was earned in the first shipment.
But thanks to the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) loan’s Commission of Inquiry chairman Sir Salamo Injia who summoned the Internal Revenue Commission and Customs to provide the figures from the first shipment, we will know this information.
PNG changed its course for the worst when O’Neill tied up all potential revenue from the PNG LNG to the controversial K3 billion UBS loan and threw the end of the string to Oil Search Ltd, so to speak.
The rest is history.
From 2015 to 2019, the nation was covered with glitters of massive infrastructure developments, including those of the Asia Pacific Economic Development Forum.
If the UBS loan was not taken, PNG LNG, particularly the State’s interest and landowner benefits, would have impacted our economy.
While thanking O’Neill for his contribution, it is time to give this nation a break.
He has done his part.
It’s time for others to contribute.
Marginalised, Oppressed, and