K8 Billion in Trust Accounts Missing – O’Neill
By: Freddy Mou – PNG Loop
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has called for a full audit into the K8 billion in surpluses that was parked in trust accounts under the Somare Government.
He said the people of Papua New Guinea need to know what happened to the fund.
“Eight billion Kina that belongs to the people of Papua New Guinea went missing,” claimed the PM.
“When we took over, there was almost zero balance in Government accounts. That is why we had to go into deficit budget to build new infrastructure around the country, to pay for our school fees, and to pay for our hospitals that our people deserve.”
However, National Alliance Party campaign director and former IPBC Minister, Arthur Somare, said O’Neill is ignorant of facts in claiming that “massive theft” of K8 billion had occurred from Trust Accounts built up from surplus budgets between 2005 and 2010.
Somare said it was impossible that O’Neill was ignorant of the facts because the status of the Trust Accounts was disclosed by him in his capacity as Treasurer in November 2010 when he presented the 2011 National Budget in Parliament.
“In the budget, O’Neill had quantified the total amounts that had flowed into the Trust Accounts in that six-year period as totaling K4.57 billion, with approved expenditures amounting to K3.6 billion.
“The totality of surplus funds never exceeded K5 billion so how would it be possible to steal K8 billion.”
Meanwhile, O’Neill said the nation is moving beyond the damage of the lost decade of the Morauta and Somare Governments, and one day the theft of the past will be revealed.
“In the next Parliament we will continue to investigate the missing billions of the Somare and Morauta Governments,” he stated.