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PNG PM O'Neill to reveal cost of APEC

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill assured Parliament this morning, that the total cost of Papua New Guinea hosting the APEC last year, will be made public.

The Moresby North West MP, Sir Mekere Morauta, had questioned that cost of the APEC should be made public in the interest of taxpayers who have paid for the world event.

He says the timing of the event was also critical because it took place when PNG was suffering from so many things.

Sir Mekere even suggested that the cost of the APEC could be around K5bn.

"The extravagant spending and huge cost of APEC in a country with dire social indicators including an outbreak of polio.

"It was definitely the most expensive event Papua New Guinea has ever had.

"Prime Minister, the cost to Papua New Guinea can not just be measured in Kina, monetary terms.

"But the opportunity cost. Things and projects that we did not take or spend money on because the funds were diverted to APEC.

"Health, education, universities, provincial governments etc...

"How much did APEC cost?

"I think it could be in the vicinity of K5bn," Sir Mekere said.

However, Mr O'Neill refuted the suggestion by Sir Mekere, saying a final report will be tabled in Parliament highlighting the real cost of the APEC.

"We only budgeted K300m in 2018 budget.

"How in the world would we be spending K5bn when our own annual budget is around 11 or K12bn?

"This is just ridiculous Mr Speaker.

"Mr Speaker I can assure you that I will get the Minister for APEC to table a final report.

"In fact we are waiting for the Ombudsman Commission to give the clearance so we can publicly tender the vehicles and some of the assets that were purchased for this particular event.

"Once that is done I will table a report through this honourable house, including a very detailed financial statement," Mr O'Neill replied.

NBC News

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