Duma Gets Petroleum & Energy – Groans Heard Around the World
With Peter O’Neill revealing who his 33 Ministers are, and what portfolios they will hold over the next five years, it is only fair that we take a closer look at some of our Ministers.
The Ministerial position which has probably caused the greatest interest – after the top posts of Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister – and most certainly from an international perspective, would have to be the post of Minister for Petroleum and Energy.
My Twitter followers would have observed a constant stream of tweets leading up to the announcement of Peter O’Neill’s National Executive Council, highlighting the fact that I was being bombarded with requests as to who would fill this post.
You know the world of business is watching #PNG when you get multiple Tweets/emails asking who will be the Minister for Petroleum/Energy.—
(@Tavurvur) August 04, 2012
And naturally, the world of business entrenched in the petroleum and energy sectors, have indeed been watching with interest developments in our national politics – courtesy of PNG’s significant resource wealth.
One of the more interesting observations justifying this statement is the amount of traffic The Garamut has been receiving via online finance forums from around the world – it has been impressive.
But not all of this attention is good news.
There appears to exist a genuine concern, and maybe even apprehension from these speculators and investors, as to the possibility of William Duma regaining his portfolio – which he has since managed to do.
@Tavurvur Exactly! O'Neill looks insincere about cleaning up PNG when he brings Duma back. Duma is a thief and O'Neill knows it!—
Peter Doyle (@peter_doyle11) August 07, 2012
The Minister for Petroleum and Energy is an important position directly relevant to the future success of PNG from an economical perspective and fiscal position. It is imperative that the right person is in the job.
It is understandable that William Duma, who is leader of the United Resources Party – which managed to net 7 MPs (the third highest total for a political party in O’Neill’s coalition), was given the portfolio as a result of his contribution of MPs to O’Neill’s Government – and also because of his experience.
But we all know that where there is smoke, there is fire.
Party politics in PNG, and the continuous attention needed by the prime minister of the day to continuously exert time and energy in monitoring and managing domestic political fires, means that the country does miss out on a meritocracy-type Cabinet – where the best person for the job, gets the job.
The question Peter O’Neill should be asking himself as he kicks off his first full term in power as prime minister – is whether or not he believes William Duma is the best man to manage this portfolio – not with his own political ambition in mind – but with the national interest at the forefront.