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Telikom PNG owes over K800 million to a Commercial bank

Papua New Guinea Technology and Communication Company Telikom PNG owes about  K800 million to a commercial bank, which is an issue the PNG Government is trying to manage in the entity’s merger with bmobile-Vodafone and DataCo, it has been revealed.

Minister for Public Enterprise and State Investment William Duma told  the local newspapers The National that the merger between the three State entities was to “combine their strengths and collectively address weaknesses such as debts”.
“This process was made even more urgent with the progressive inability of the state companies to make money while delivering quality service to its shareholders, the people of PNG,” he said
“Eventually we will have one telecommunication company that will be able to compete effectively with Digicel.”
He said Telikom took a loan from the ANZ Bank for about US$240mil (K780mil).
“So that means we are in debt at about K800 million,” he said.
“They (Telikom) owe a lot of money to ANZ Bank. And if it is not paid back, they will come for what is owed and a lot of people will lose their jobs and we will have a massive social and economic problem on our hands if we do not restructure now.”
He said bmobile too had its own legacy issues inherited from its previous structure.
“It may not be as much as Telikom but they also need to make money as well,” he said.
He said the Government was trying to combine the various strengths of each company and work collectively towards reducing the loans and providing better service to the people.
“The chief financial officer of each company can say whether they are making money,” he said.
“But I can tell you now that the answer is no, they are not. I get periodic reports on their performance and each of those don’t paint a good picture of where they are heading.”
Duma also said the Government was committed to ensuring that employees of the three State telecommunication companies were not disadvantaged.
“Our job is to put in place an effective structure so that employees are able to do their jobs better so we can make full use of these companies,” he said.
“The merger is what we need to be able to be competitive in the sector and contribute to the development of our country.” The National

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