Air Niugini today made their first dividend payment of cheque for K6.45 million to the Government. This was the first of its kind since it was corporatized in 1996.
The dividend was made during the unveiling of the airline’s new Boeing 737 airliner in Port Moresby today.
There to accept the payment was Sir Mekere Morauta, the Minister for Public Enterprises. He said it is very important for them to pay the dividend as it helps instil commercial discipline in Public Enterprises and it recognises that the people of Papua New Guinea, through the national Government, are owners of these organisations and are entitled to a return on their investment.
Sir Mekere said the cheque is to reimburse Air Niugini’s share of a K50-million dividend paid by IPBC to the Consolidated Revenue Fund earlier this year.
He added that this reflects the reforms introduced after the O’Neill-Namah Government was elected on the floor of Parliament last year.
He said his reforms which focus on independence from political influence for IPBC and its Public Enterprises, accountability and transparency, efficient business practices and improved service delivery, are clearly working.
He urged incoming government to continue with these reforms. With this, he said he hopes to see the wisdom and practicality of earmarking some of the Sovereign Wealth Fund cash for infrastructure development and Public Enterprises rehabilitation.
Three other Public Enterprises that paid dividends this year were Eda Ranu, with K3 million, PNG Ports with K15 million, and Water PNG with K500, 000.