Water PNG and Eda Ranu Merge
Part of the efforts of the government to drive enhancement in the performance of state-owned enterprises by venturing into different strategies is the merger between Water PNG and Eda Ranu. This is also to key in reforms to the sector.
Kumul Consolidated Holdings Chairman Peter Aitsi said that the reforms are targeted in delivering improved results in two key areas - achieving improved financial performance from all state-owned companies, and efficient services to the public and the customers.
He added that in 2018, the National Executive Council had approved this merger - with a decision to the office of state solicitor to draft instructions to modify the National Water Supply and Sanitation Act 2016 and repeal the National Capital District Water Supply and Sewerage Act 1996.
In September 2016, Mr. Aitsi said that the National Parliament passed the National Water Supply and Sanitation (Amendment) Bill 2019 to implement the merger. This was certified by the Speaker on November 2, 2020, and gazetted later on November 4, 2020.
“KCH has worked with the board and management of both entities to assist the merger and ensure the transition arrangements were properly managed,” he said. “Managing director for KCH Isikeli Taureka is working closely with the designated officer in charge Mr Parkop Kurua and the Board and management of Water PNG to manage the expectations from key stakeholders to ensure the successful completion of the merger.”
Mr Aitsi noted that the objective of KCH is to enhance the availability of water not only in Port Moreby but to leverage the capabilities of a merged company to improve the services and water supply and services at both the provincial and district level.
Meanwhile, outgoing board chairman William Sweet, who has been chairman in the water sector for the last 14 years, said that there are mixed feelings - both sad and happy, especially in the efforts in formulating the merger.
“As for Eda Ranu, the checklists of seeing it merge was important to me simply because having Water PNG on its own without NCD, it cannot survive, in order to deliver the vision of the government, it needs Eda Ranu to make that vision a reality,” he said. “To cross-subsidise profits, I hope everyone understands the importance of working together, we have a country of 8 to 10 million people with only a small percentage that have access to clean water and we need to look at the bigger picture and that is the rest of the country.”
Water PNG Ltd OIC Parkop Kurua remarked the merger of Water PNG and Eda Ranu is a strategic move by the government to reach these outcomes.