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State of PNG Economic Paralysis as more investors write off Billions of Kina in Assets

The decision by Oil Search to write off more than 1 billion Kina in PNG exploration assets is another nail in the coffin for our economy under the current government.

Leader of the People’s National Congress Party, Hon. Peter O’Neill, CMG, MP, said almost every week there is another announcement by investors that they are downgrading their PNG investments, and the Oil Search announcement is yet another step backwards for jobs and livelihoods.

“The news goes from bad to worse for our economy and this began well before the Coronavirus,” Mr. O’Neill said.

“In just one year the failures of James Marape and his cronies have driven our economy into the deepest hole in decades, and the seeds of economic collapse were sewn in the second half of last year.

“The government’s mishandling of the Coronavirus response, that shut down businesses with the loss of more than 10,000 jobs, closed government offices and crushed SMEs just made the situation much worse.

“This government has caused negative growth of 6 per cent since coming to office, that includes 4 per cent this year, as stated by the World Bank, after a 2 per cent decline in 2019.

“On the back of this downturn in growth the only thing the government is doing is to continue to borrow billions of Kina that is just being wasted, instead of taking action to stimulate economic activity and increasing government revenue.

“The uncertainty of economic management, and the government’s failure to negotiate major new projects, is behind the decision by Oil Search to focus its attention on other projects around the world and to write off PNG assets.

“The closure of Porgera factored into Oil Search downgrading its investment in PNG, with the company stating that the Hides Gas-to-Electricity Project will be fully impaired by the Porgera shutdown.”

Peter O’Neill said that with so much ongoing pain and misery, most Members of the Parliament are shaking their heads and asking how could this government be so incompetent.

“Marape even admitted in Parliament that economic advisors are telling him that he is killing our country.

“So why can he not listen to good advice instead of dismissing it and relying on cronies?

“Every day this government takes our country backwards is another day of suffering for millions of people who are the victims of Marape’s incompetence.

“Each and every coming day that James Marape is asleep in the Prime Minister’s office is another day of distress and agony for our people.”

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