Central landowners urged not to entertain outsiders in projects

National, Normal

OUTSIDERS are trying to hijack contracts that are reserved for legitimate landowner companies in the LNG plant (Portion 152) in Central province, Laba Holdings Limited chairman Raho Kevau said.
Mr Kevau, who heads the company representing Portion 152 landowners of Papa, Lealea, Boera and Porebada, said in a statement that Laba was the only legitimate and recognised umbrella company engaged in the LNG Plant site.
He said Laba was a signatory to the licence based benefits sharing agreement and was recognised by the Department of Petroleum and Energy and developer Esso Highlands.
He cautioned the people of Papa, Lealea, Boera and Porebada not to be misled into signing agreements that would only benefit a few individuals.
“Please be very careful with whom you are dealing with because you may end up becoming spectators of your own land.
“Some people with selfish interests are misleading our illiterate villagers and the public at large,” he said.
Mr Kevau also claimed that certain individuals, backed by some political leaders, were taking advantage of the conflict of the Boera and Porebada people to cause divisions and pushing for their selfish agenda at the expense of the villagers.
“The Boera and Porebada issue is now under police investigations and we must not take advantage of that to mislead our villagers,” he said in response to the reported signing of a catering joint venture between BRPP (Boera, Rearea, Papa, Porebada) Development Corporation and Mountain Catering.
He said BRPP was a company that was purported headed by people who were not duly elected or appointed landowners from the four impacted villages.
“The agreements are flawed and are being rushed through by certain individuals with vested interests.
“Laba Holdings is up and running after signing service outline agreements with Esso Highlands Ltd for joint venture with Parsons to recruit people for early works.
“Laba has also signed an agreement to provide security at the project site and have been allocated mobilisation funds by Esso Highlands for initial start-up of the company,” he said.
Mr Kevau said the business development grant from the National Government had already been allocated to the landowner companies under Laba.
“Other service agreements are being negotiated after Laba board, directors and staff met with Japanese firm Chiyoda who won the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC 3) rights for the project.
“The facts is we have an established office managed by an acting management team.
“Once the structure is in place, we will make merit-based appointments through a rigorous recruitment process,” Mr Kevau said.