PNG's Controversial APEC Maseriti to be re-tendered, says Ngangan
The controversial luxury Maserati sedans, bought at a cost of about K40 million to be used in the 2018 APEC Summit in Port Moresby, will be re-tendered along with the rest of the vehicles that have not been distributed or sold, a government official says.
These luxury and other vehicles were first put on tender in 2019, with then finance minister Charles Abel reporting that the government was confident of selling them and was considering various options to dispose of the vehicles.
He said then that they were preparing domestic and international tenders and even considering getting local motor dealers to help sell the vehicles.
This week, Finance Secretary Ken Ngangan told the Post-Courier that only one of the luxurious Maserati sedans had been sold, and admitted that the process to sell these and the other vehicles had been “mishandled”.
He said they were in the process of re-tendering them.
“Most of the (other) vehicles were sold and we only awaiting the final report for the 2018 APEC Audit,” Dr Ngangan said.
That audit has been completed and the draft report is being finalised before presented to the Government. (See separate story)
“We are just doing final checks, we are re-tendering the Maseratis and the balance of the cars that were not distributed,” Dr Ngangan said.
On the eve of APEC 2018, then APEC minister Justin Tkatchenko, vehemently defended the then government’s decision to purchase the luxurious cars, which have caused a storm domestically and internationally as the world’s eyes turned to PNG to see how it would host one of the biggest and most powerful meetings on the world stage.
Tkatchenko had gone out in the media and boldly declared that these Maseratis “were selling like hot cakes”.
Two years and one failed attempt to sell them later, the vehicles are still sitting in a warehouse in Port Moresby, collecting dust and dropping in value by the day.
What would have cost between K500,000 and K800,000 a unit two years ago may now cost less – about K200,000 per unit or less – as they have been locked away in a Port Moresby warehouse without their engines running.
Dr Ngangan said the government would provide an update when the tender process was completed.
Post Courier/ONE PNG