PNG Power has paid a dividend of K5m to the Government through IPBC for the first time.
Minister for IPBC, Mr Ben Micah was on hand to receive the cheque and thanked the CEO, Mr Tony Koiri, the management and all the staff of PNG Power for maintaining the assets of the company, to enable the company to function.
Mr Micah said the bulk of the appreciation should go to Mr Koiri as under his leadership the company was able to make a profit and to pay a 10 percent dividend to the Government.
“As the Minister, I commend the services of the company, the Board of IPBC would like to thank every single staff of the company from yourself, right down to the men who connect the power and who collect the bills, right down to the cleaners, everyone of these people on behalf of IPBC,” Mr Micah said.
He revealed when receiving the cheque that there were major challenges ahead in taking the company forward which may involve “restructuring or debundling the company,” into two to three companies.
Mr Micah said the NEC was looking at the ownership of SOEs, the fisheries sector, tourism and other sectors to increase their capability within the ownership.
The State would go in and create base and transfer ownership down to the people.
He said this major restructure would affect some but it was largely policy driven to create accessibility to large sections of the community.
He also said he was surprised to hear of the decision by Mr Koiri to resign and said he did not know the nature of the discussions at IPBC office which led to Mr Koiri’s resignation.
Mr Micah went on to say that he did not accept the resignation but it was beyond his powers to do anything.
Chairman of the PPL Board, Mr Joshua Bakiri said he was happy to present the cheque of K5m to the Minister and also thanked the outgoing CEO, Mr Tony Koiri for his efforts in leading the company which for the first time has made a profit.
Mr Bakiri thanked Board members Mr Sana Somare and Mr Thomas Laka who had been on previous PPL Boards for their efforts in directing the company in making a significant profit.
Mr Bakiri said it was sad to see Mr Koiri leave PNG Power but the company was happy to retain his service through a consultancy arrangement.
Mr Koiri said the dividend was the result of the challenge by the Minister, for all SOEs to operate as private business.
“PPL has responded with this K5m based on our net profit of K50.3m,” Mr Koiri said.
He said the Board and Management of PNG Power had decided to make the payment to support the Government in its vision to provide free education and free Health services to the people of Papua New Guinea.