A Kumul Arises
Over the years I’ve covered all types of animals, from Pato’s to Elephants to Octopuses but now all that is to change as we expectantly wait for the rise of the Kumul. The one truly Papua New Guinean animal that represents us on our government crest, our national rugby league team, on our K1 coin and all types of prestigious items like Universal Access Cards from Telikom.
But before getting back to this rising Kumul, I have to say that I’ve always been a huge fan of the business sensibilities of countries like Singapore and the UAE. Singapore with it’s US$161 billion sovereign holding company Temasek (Ben Micah is also a fan) and the UAE and even countries like Qatar, in how they have decidedly taken control of their economic futures through proper management of their oil and gas resources. The thing is we’ve always asked ourselves, how is it that PNG with so much wealth can be so poor? And not just poor in the sense of international poverty indicators etc etc, but in terms of economic participation? The answer will always lie in the execution of our plans.
Mekere Morauta’s IPBC (and other economic reforms) were the first steps for the Government commercializing it’s business interests but when he left what ensued after 9 years was a disaster which he termed as being analogous to an ‘Octopus‘. One perfect example was the ridiculous power play between Petromin and the National Petroleum Company of PNG (NPCP). Morauta did return in 2012 for one last time to IPBC before his retirement and appointment as Chairman of PNGSDP, but in his short 9 month return he was able to oversee some K77m in dividends to the State and commencement of key infrastructure projects. As he stated:
The lesson is clear: A capable professional team, with a clear plan, propelled by honest and determined political leadership, can turn things around. Here are just a few of the projects that are being delivered by IPBC working in partnership with public enterprises and the private sector:
A one billion kina redevelopment of the Lae port to underpin economic development in Morobe and the Highlands region;
Examination of options to re-locate Port Moresby port;
Rehabilitation of Port Moresby power;
A two billion kina expansion to the Yonki hydro project to provide cheap and reliable power to Lae, Madang and the Highlands;
A K500 million National Transmission Network that will connect provincial centres throughout PNG with fast and reliable internet services, paving the way for an information revolution. Our Government has already established the first base for this, with IPBC, PNG Power and Telikom collaborating to complete an optic fibre connection from Madang to Lae, which I will switch on next week. This will open up high speed internet services to businesses and residents in Lae.
- 1) Kumul Corporate Holding Ltd, which all IPBC interests will be transferred to,
- 2) Kumul Mining Holding Ltd, which Petromin will change into with interests in OK Tedi, BCL, Tolekuma, etc and
- 3) Kumul Petroleum Holding Ltd, which NPCP (Kroton) will change into with interests in PNG LNG, etc.