K200mil awaits vetting


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says well over K200 million worth of landowner benefits remain in the trust account with the Central Bank.
O’Neill said equity issues and other payments would be made to landowners once the clan vetting process was completed.
“There was no proper clan vetting process to identify the real landowners of each of these project areas,” he said.
O’Neill said the process was yet to be concluded. “Recently, we paid the first lot of benefits to the plant site owners (in Central). We are going up the process.”
He said the Gulf pipeline landowners should receive their benefits “very shortly after the proper clan vetting is concluded”.
This will be followed by the “most difficult part” in Hela and Southern Highlands.
He said people understood that the benefits due to them were parked at the Central Bank and the balances were well over K200 million.
“So nobody is diverting that money anywhere.”
Sinasina-Yongomugl MP Kerenga Kua had questioned the benefits to landowners from the LNG project.
On the UBS loan, he said there was no further obligation to UBS by the State.
“The UBS loan, as we had sold all the shares (in Oil Search), is now zero balance,” he said.
“There is no further obligations on the part of the State or even Kumul Petroleum Holdings.
“There is a balance of residual value that is now going to be paid to the State – well over K120 million through KPH. It will go to consolidated revenue.”

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