It is indeed my honour to witness the official opening of the new BSP Bank and Post Office in Kikori initiated, developed and delivered in a partnership between MRDC, its subsidiary landowner company Petroleum Resources Kutubu (PRK), Bank South Pacific (BSP) and Post PNG.

This project is an important one in bringing banking and postal services to the people of Kikori in a time when the country is experiencing much growth.

As landowner beneficiaries you must feel proud that your landowner company PRK has been able to deliver these services to your doorstep.

MRDC still remains the single biggest custodian of the people’s wealth from their rich natural resources. We are responsible for the prudent management and investment of all subsidiary landowner company funds generated from mining and petroleum projects in the country.

We continue to assist the people from the resource project areas, through their respective companies such as PRK to make sound investments for the future and focus on the community projects.

Unfortunately more than K245 million paid as dividends since the first export of oil from Kutubu oil fields has been wasted.

The first oil export started in 1992 and the first dividends were paid out by PRK to shareholders from 2002. A total of K245 million has been paid landowner groups and provincial governments since then with nothing to show on the ground for the ordinary people in the villages to benefit.

Due to these previous failures, the PRK decided change and bring in services directly to rural communities to benefit the local people.

The project you see today is one such initiative.

The PRK has agreed to spend K10 million under the community infrastructure fund to build a BSP sub-branch, Post Office, a 150 KVA generator, a 50 KVA generator, water supply enough to supply 10 000 litres per day and a sewerage system so that the bank will operate independently outside the normal system.

We do this because we understand that Kikori is isolated and hard for government services to come in. The PRK wanted to help because as we celebrated the export of oil, we wanted to ensure that for the people of Kikori, we will not just give them cash but put in banking services, so that those who are public servants, health workers and teachers must remain here and provide services to the people. This is PRK’s commitment.

PRK will also assist other beneficiaries in Pimaga and Kutubu in Southern Highlands.

We must start where the first white man made their original journey from Kikori into Southern highlands.

It is our commitment at MRDC to see our stakeholders and beneficiaries succeed in PNG. As benefits to PNG increase from mining, petroleum and LNG projects our vision still remains; to use the wealth derived from the resources sector and maximize our shareholder return to improve quality of life of landowner beneficiaries.

Augustine S. Mano

Managing Director