Papua New Guinea's government faces criticism as it struggles to sell the 40 Maseratis Quattroporte sedans and three Bentley Flying Spurs acquired for the controversial 2018 Apec conference. The luxury vehicle purchase, costing millions of dollars, sparked public outrage amid the country's high levels of poverty, health crises, and limited basic services.
Unsuccessful Resale Tender Process
Despite assurances from the government, only two out of the 43 luxury vehicles have been sold, revealing a significant setback in the resale tender process. The absence of a set reserve price led to limited interest and unreasonably low offers, according to Justin Tkatchenko, the former minister for Apec.
Broken Promises and Public Outcry
Opposition MPs condemned the government's extravagant spending, labeling it "blatant fraud." Promises of recouping expenses through the resale of the vehicles have fallen short, fueling public anger. The lavish purchase was made despite pressing issues such as poor infrastructure, high rates of carjackings, and widespread poverty.
Political Fallout and Seismic Changes
The aftermath of the Apec conference has seen political upheaval, with the resignation of former Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and the ascent of James Marape. Bryan Kramer, a vocal critic of the luxury car purchase, has been appointed police minister and vows to pursue greater government accountability.
Lingering Financial Issues and Unpaid Bills
As Papua New Guinea grapples with the repercussions of the Apec event, financial challenges persist. The audit report on the conference is yet to be tabled in parliament, while over $12 million in vendor and supplier bills remain unpaid. Tkatchenko attributes the delay to the finance department, highlighting ongoing financial mismanagement.
The aftermath of Papua New Guinea's 2018 Apec conference continues to haunt the government as the attempt to sell 43 luxury vehicles faces challenges. Public outrage erupted over the extravagant purchase of Maseratis and Bentleys, with promises of recouping costs through resale falling short.
The failure of the tender process, compounded by political shifts and unpaid bills, underscores the financial mismanagement surrounding the Apec event. As Papua New Guinea grapples with these repercussions, questions about government accountability and responsible spending loom large, overshadowing the initial intent of showcasing the nation on the global stage.