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Enga Leaders Resolve to Seek Better Future

The four Engan MPs, have met in person whilst in the Opposition camp and have resolved to remain united and negotiate better deals for their province.

The MPs include Sir John Pundari -Kompiam Ambum, Rimbink Pato –Wapenamanda, Alfred Manase –Kandep Open, and Tomait Kapili - Lagaip Porgera) met in-person to again discuss the best way forward for the Porgera Gold Mine for the Province.

The Members in their meetings noted and alleged that the Enga Provincial Government or E-P-G has benefited from the Pogera mine over the past 30 years, but there have never been any audited financial statements of any investments that EPG has made over the years.

The local MPs in their statement this week have claimed that there have no such documents been tabled at the Provincial Assembly.

''There has been no or little accountability from the EPG over the 30 years of Porgera's existence.

''Therefore, we are currently in the Opposition Camp to continue to support the urgent reopening of Porgera and that will not change, said the MPs.

The local MPs claimed that Porgera would have been in a much better position due to highly improved commodity prices in recent months, however, the mine has sat idle.

They blamed this on actions by the Government to make Porgera remain closed resulting in millions of Kina in lost revenue, 3,500 newly-unemployed Papua New Guineans, subcontractors losing millions in income as well as thousands of subcontractors losing jobs.

Meantime, the Ipatas–Marape alliance despite the claims and accusations have maintained their stand on the Porgera Issue.

Prime Minister James Marape maintains that he will champion the ordinary people in terms of equity sharing, contracts, spin-offs activities, landowner royalties, environmental effects among others.

James Marape has also given assurance that discussions surrounding the plight of the Pogera Mine are ongoing with Barrick Niugini Limited.

He says though the matter has been taken to court, some form of truce has been reached between the two parties, and talks are ongoing.

Mr. Marape assured the country that the principles relating to benefits still remain.

Despite this, the four Engan MPs said they will collectively negotiate a better deal for the people of Enga through the incoming new Government.

The 4 MP's claim that under the Marape Government they have been excluded from this negotiating process and unable to do their duty to the people of Enga.

''We do not want to be part of an unaccountable Provincial government that has squandered the last thirty years of resource revenue with no accountability.

''We will do better for the people of Enga under the new regime, having experienced the past 18 months of turmoil under the Marape Government.

''We have resolved unanimously that all potential avenues should be examined to resume operations of the mine at the earliest under new terms and conditions to be negotiated with Barrick and Zijin Corporation.

The MPs have already set new terms and this is to include equity restructure over and above current partnership structure with PNG side taking greater royalties and fairer distribution to be made to the landowners and to DDAs directly, not anymore to the EPG.

This newsroom is attempting to get comments from the Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas.

NBC News/ PNG Today

Next : Credibility Test for PNG Treasurer and Minority Government

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