The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has described the state of Government owned enterprises (SOE) as appalling.
He said taxpayers’ money has been wasted and service delivery continues to remain poor.
The heads of state owned enterprises who attended the leaders’ summit today were also put in the spotlight. Over the years, history of SOEs’ performance has been dismal. The Prime Minister made no secret of the fact that money had been wasted, stolen and misused.
In the 1990s, state agencies including those that provide utilities were corporatized. Water PNG, Eda Ranu in Port Moresby, Telikom and PNG Power are some examples of the companies that have gone through a reform process.
But while some have performed well, others continue to struggle. In recent months, PNG Power has been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. The number of blackouts experienced all over the country and failing equipment has prompted the government to inject more money into the company.
There is now increasing pressure on SOEs, as the government opens up the doors for competition. For Telikom, that competition has come in the form of Digicel.
For companies like Water PNG, they will be expected to make their money in 3 years as they gain recognition as a company.