Leader of the Opposition Hon. Belden Norman Namah this week called for a bi-partisan Parliamentary inquiry into the state owned PNG Power Ltd and the issue of electricity supply throughout PNG.
Mr Namah said the reliable provision of electricity and the wider issues of the energy needs of Papua New Guinea has now become a national emergency.
“Sustained, reliable and cost effective generation, transmission and distribution of electricity is a crucial development enabler in any country.
“And PNG is missing it big time.”
“Countries like Vietnam and Cambodia, coming off years of military strife in their countries, got their energy supply right and today they are cruising on the path to rapid progress and development.
“Development is seriously constrained by energy issues in this country. Children do not get the extra hours of light they need for study. People on life support at hospitals die when power to equipment fails. Businesses are affected by constant power outages. Cost to doing business escalates as businesses add their own backup power units and replace important equipment and appliances lost to power surges. Citizens suffer the same through damaged goods.
“Instead of attending to the heart of the matter, the government has been skirting the issue by changing board membership and chief executive officers.
“The heart of the issue is capacity, aging equipment and aging work force. Can PNG Power generate, transmit and distribute power to all parts of the country as is its current mandate on its own using present resources? The answer is NO!” “Can it carry the increased load required along current aging power lines and towers? The answer is NO!
“Does PNG Power have capacity to distribute to increased households and businesses? NO! The outgoing nine-month-CEO has just admitted power theft costs the company K25 million per month.
“Is the present workforce sufficiently trained, re-trained and well remunerated to undertake a countrywide power supply? I would again answer NO!
“This issues must now be put to a special bi-partisan parliamentary committee to inquire into and report to Parliament within three months to take serious and urgent action.”
“Unfortunately, Prime Minister Mr James Marape cannot deal with issues such as this because he has repeatedly postponed Parliament for almost all of his time in office so nothing of serious national importance can be discussed.”
GOD SAVE OUR COUNTRY!