The National- Wednesday, January 12, 2011
By VERONICA FRANCIS
LNG and business development grant (BDG) adviser to the state Philbert Aisaisa has called on Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru to retract his recent statement in the media saying that the Commerce and Industry Department paid some funds to the wrong landowners.
According to Aisaisa, the BDG was paid accordingly as per the approved criteria based on the sustainability and viability of the application submitted as part of the expression of interest process.
He said the state’s management and disbursement of the BDG’s were made to successful applicants from the impacted LNG project areas across the entire project footprint transparently.
However, Aisaisa said it was unfortunate not all applications were funded under the BDG, given the limitations of funds against the number of application received, adding the total was more than K3 billion.
He said Agiru should consider educating his people to distinguish the difference between royalty, equity, seed capital and MoA.
Aisaisa added that BDG was purely commercial and was a privilege given by the state specifically for business development purposes as part of the LNG cash benefit agreed to in the UBSA.
“It is apparent that Agiru failed to appreciate the fact that BDG process does not recognise landownership but rather involve land owner applicants,” he said.