by Delly Bagu – EM TV, Port Moresby
Minister for Public Enterprise and State Investments, Ben Micah was on FM100’s talkback show this morning, giving awareness on the state of emergency on electricity services.
Host and radio personality Roger Hau’ofa facilitated the awareness-driven program with Minister Micah on the panel together with Emergency Controller Captain Tom Ur and PNG Power CEO, John Tangit.
Their appearance on the show is part of a wide-reaching publicity exercise throughout all mediums, including social media. Telephone lines were opened for interaction with the public. Listeners phoned in addressing issues of tampering of EasiPay systems, rates of power and irregular power supplies in other provinces.
Several callers queried why the government saw the need to affect a state of emergency on what many still perceive as a financial accounts collection problem. Minister Micah announced that since the state of emergency, over a thousand power users have come forward to correct anomalies in power usage and supply.
He said so far, PNG Power is out of the red, and into the black, with K10 million already collected. Mr Micah maintained his confidence that the government was on the right track in enabling the state-owned entity to reassert itself.
Minister Micah also said that Tari in Hela province will have 24-hour power supply coming from Hides, come September.
He said the main issue is not about collecting outstanding debts, but addressing the overall power issue. He further said that the formation of the new Energy Policy will prepare the country for an energy boost, as PNG has power generation sources in its gas, oil, coal, hydropower, geothermal, solar and resource sector.