Absence of lands board in East Sepik a woe: Isifu

The National,Thursday June 30th, 2016

THE absence of a lands board in East Sepik for the past 15 years is a hindrance to the business community and potential investors in the province, according to the Wewak Chamber of Commerce.
Businessman and former president of the Wewak Chamber of Commerce Kevin Isifu says local small medium enterprise (SME) owners in the province have had difficulty securing land to conduct business activities.
Isifu stressed that most state land in the provincial capital has been grabbed illegally and turned into settlements. He noted that foreigners had taken ownership of most shops and hotel businesses in Wewak.
Isifu said the SME policy needed to become effective and implemented by government agencies to address the ownership issue.
“The biggest concern is land.
“This is no land board in the province.
“For the last 15 years, no land board meeting.
“This resulted in increased land grabbing.
“Our (East Sepik) SMEs have finance to start businesses on state land but there is no land.
“No database to show where land is available,” he said.
In relation to the business environment in Wewak, Isifu said security or law and order still remained an issue that needed to be addressed.