By GYNNIE KERO
HELA Governor Philip Undialu has welcomed the government decision to resume the clan-vetting process to allow the payment of benefits to landowners.
He said beneficiaries had been waiting for their dues for more eight years which would have been by now invested sustainably.
“I thank the government for addressing this long outstanding issue of the clan-vetting process. I know part of the delay was caused by so many consultants engaged for this simple job which our mediators and elders are able to guide the department (Department of Petroleum) on,” he said.
“We know who the genuine landowners are. Hiring foreign consultants wasted nearly K50 million.”
He said he had every trust and confidence in Gai Pope who would lead the team to address the long outstanding issue.
“Pope is a local from Hela.
“He has vast experience in the oil and gas industry. He was team leader for the Moran project clan-vetting process,” Undialu said
“I call on the landowners to put their differences aside and assist the government. We have more than K300 million in equity and royalty with the Mineral Resource Development Company and Central Bank.
“By now, we are supposed to be benefiting and make investments sustainably. Its eight years now. We have not utilised the money.”
He also welcomed the fact that Komo-Magarima MP Manasseh Makiba is the Vice-Minister of Petroleum and assisting Petroleum Minister Fabian Pok.
“Project partners ExxonMobil and Oil Search as well as KPHL and MRDC are putting resources together in this process.
“This is encouraging and landowners must not miss this opportunity,” he said.
By GYNNIE KERO