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Making PNG the Richest Black Christian Nation : What does it really Mean?

Commentary By: Livingstone Fontenu 

This phrase "Making PNG the Richest Black Christian Nation" was first introduced to PNG by PM James Marape (PMJM) on the day he resigned as the Finance Minister. At first, I though the statement was figurative, however, what struck me was when he later said he will “tweak and turn the oil and gas laws in the people’s favour”. There is a great deal of truth as well as risk in the relationship between these two statements. I have been studying the ability of global oil and gas industries to tipping the geopolitical power balance and creating chaos in third world economies and with such announcements from the PMJM, I start asking myself if my PM really knows what he’s trying to do here? Even if he knows what he’s doing, is he prepared to wrestle the storm ahead in his pursuit to make PNG a richest black Christian nation?

PNG Prime Minister James Marape
Following is a write-up in 2 parts which I aim to bring into perspective a global trend of oil and gas politics, the connections to imperialism, exploitation, to assassinations, funding of terrorism, rebels and civil wars, the infiltration by economic hitmen, eventual fall of governments and its effectiveness in sustaining poverty and exploitation in the third world economies. First part will be about the realities happening around the world and in the second part, Ill provide recommendations on how best the country can guide itself moving forward.

Let me begin with statistics as we know it. Perhaps the richest black nation in the world today in terms of financial statistics is Nigeria. With a GDP of $376.284bn and a comfortable $40bn plus in its foreign exchange reserve, this African economic giant is a home to over 195 million people. The size of the country, its natural resources and its working population can be used to justify its position as the richest black nation today.

However, there is one other rich black country, with striking similarities in the population and natural reserves with PNG. Libya, a country with 6.5mil people today was once the fifth richest black nation under the leadership of Col. Muammar Gaddafi – commonly labelled as a dictator and terrorist by the West. What is more astonishing in comparison to PNG today is that Gaddafi was the first black leader who wanted to make his country the first richest black nation, as well as making it the capital of his proposed United States of Africa.

To do so, he declared war on imperialism, foreign exploitation and took control of the laws on natural resources. He demanded for higher petroleum prices, a greater share of revenues, and more control over the development of the country's petroleum industry, which he successfully made the petroleum companies agreed to a price hike of more than three times the previous rate. He then nationalized the holdings of British, French and US petroleum developers in the country by offering compensation for their expertise and investments in oil exploration, production, and distribution. This gave Libya control of about 70 percent of domestic oil production.

Gadhafi’s Libya was different to what it is today, I have few Libyan friends today who have attested to the facts below. In Gadhafi’s Libya, owning a house was considered a natural human right, education and medical treatment were all free, $5000 was given to every mother with new-born baby, electricity was free, petrol was as low as $0.14 (47toea) per litre, the list goes on.

The West for the first time realized that a leader has risen to fight aggressively for what is rightfully he’s peoples. This led to hideous attempts on the life of this leader in many ways. First was in the use of economic hitmen to bribe and corrupt him, when he didn’t give in, there were numerous assassinations attempts and then the West (Britain, Italy, France & US) fund rebels within the country and created a civil war which finally killed Gaddafi with the help of NATO-led coalition in 2011. Ask any Libyan today, they’ll tell you Gaddafi wasn’t much a ruthless dictator as depicted by the Wests propaganda in attempts to seek moral justification to their imperialism and exploitation in the country.

Across time and cultures, different leaders suffered the same fate when they truly represent their people. Few to name includes Jacobo Guzman, 25th president of Guatemala who was overthrown by US military because he gave full land rights back to his people which was a treat to one of the major US fruit company operating in the country. Jaime Aquilera, 33rd President of Ecuador who embarked on a policy to redirect his countries oil laws to elevate the poor. The US sent economic hitmen to corrupt him, but he refused, thus leading to his assassination through a CIA planned plane crash. It was reported that two key witness also died in a highly suspicious car crash a day before they testified on the president’s death. The world witnesses the same tragedy in the instances of Hugo Chavez (45th President of Venezuela), Mohammad Mosaddegh (35th prime minister of Iran) and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

It is no secret that multinational corporations and oil giants profits off the blood money, regardless of the social cost. If a resource rich nation is so corrupt, know that the leader is a very good puppet. Instead of we natives blaming our leaders of being corrupt, we should rather ask who corrupted our leaders? Corruption was just introduced to PNG few years after independence, it was never our culture!

Today I stand with a heavy heart wondering if my new Prime Minister knows the cost of making the country a rich black nation. I also ask if he is ready to sacrifice life itself for all. Let me tell Papua New Guinea today, if Marape is serious in what he is proposing, the PM seat won’t be that walk in park for him as enjoyed by his predecessors.

Just few days after he took office announcing his aim to “tweak the gas laws in favour of the people”, the Wall Street Stock Exchange recorded fall in the Total SA, Exxon Mobil and Oil Search shares. If that would mean anything, it would mean an end to an era for those global empires sucking out profit off this country at minimum to no benefit to our people. They will deal with a new reality today – a reality that they will go into business with a new leader who wants the lions share for his people and they can no longer profit off ignorance and corruption.

I want to join Hon. Gary Juffa to call for much vigilance and prudence in the way foreigners will be processed in the country moving forward. This is not to only preserve and protect our country from those criminal cartels, transnational criminals and pirates but more importantly against corporatocracy, foreign bureaucrats and technocrats who come in disguise of advisers and instead corrupt our leaders, exploit our weaknesses, destabilises our economy and use it for their own benefits.

In my next article, I will be proposing national security reforms, cross-sectoral intelligence services and other necessary recommendations to not only strengthen our democracy but also to protect our new prime minister because the water he is about to navigate ahead is unknown to traditional PNG politics.   Send us your Commentaries for publication on this site : email : pngfacts@gmail.com

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I resigned on own accord, no one forced me, says former PM O'Neill

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