The National – Friday, December 24, 2010
DURING the recent PNG mining and petroleum conference in Sydney, Oil Search Ltd CEO Peter Botten revealed they had paid out K11.931 billion of oil revenue since 1992 but there was nothing on the ground to show for it.
This shows we have wasted oil revenue for the last 18 years.
Lately, there has been much hype between Sir Michael Somare and his ministers about holding LNG revenue in offshore accounts.
They are more obsessed with where they want to place the LNG income than how they will use it to develop the country.
It is obvious PNG needs development and squirreling money does not make sense.
Instead, we need to tie the LNG revenue with big impact projects that take years to fund.
They include long-term projects like building:
. A trans-island highway linking Lae and Port Moresby;
. New national highways from the highlands to the coastal/port towns of Kikori, Wewak and Madang;
. A railway network linking all coastal centres of mainland PNG starting from Vanimo to Aitape, Wewak, Madang, Lae, Popondetta, Alotau, Port Moresby, Kerema and ending at Kiunga/Daru;
. A subway system for Port Moresby;
. Purari hydro electric project and other hydro projects nationwide;
.Rural electrification project; maintenance of all existing road infrastructure; and
. Maintenance of all existing and building of new health and educational infrastructure.
These projects will truly take us into the 21st century as they are sustainable development projects because the future generations will benefit from such infrastructure.
The gas will be gone within 50 years and if we fail to use the LNG revenue to develop the country, we will truly remain in the rut like what we are experiencing today forever.