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EXCITING TIMES YET CHALLENGES AHEAD FOR PNG EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY SECTOR

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by KOMBOL GIBSON

PNG is endowed with a $19bn oil and gas industry. The size of this industry is set to double and almost triple. It’s an exciting prospect for PNG but challenges remain for delivering that blessing to every man, woman and child in PNG. In fact the opposite is happening. PNG should be concerned.

There is a large focus on Government-funded programmes in the Hela and Southern Highlands Provinces instead of a more equitable arrangement for all 21 Provinces in PNG. That is a story for another day and a subsequent article, but the upshot of this focus on Hela and SHP is that the vast majority of it ends up in the hands of elites from these Provinces that reside elsewhere, access health services in Port Moresby or overseas, send their children to school overseas, maintaining multiple wives and mistresses and invest in Port Moresby or overseas. So roughly 80% of funding that gets diverted to Hela and SHP ends up in the pockets of Ministers, MPs, senior public servants, advisors,…