City residents want land issues resolved

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday August 07th, 2012

THE issue of land-grabbing and illegal construction of new buildings in Lae should be addressed by the new political leadership of Lae and Morobe, two senior residents of the town say.
Among these are issues which are systematic and corrupt and should be addressed for the sake of future generations.
This view comes from concerned Michael Pai and Benson Nablu, two senior citizens and residents of Lae who unsuccessfully contested Lae open seat.
As leaders they felt they should speak out against wrong and not wait until the election to campaign and speak on issues that affected Morobeans and city residents.
They believe corrupt practices are rife in government agencies in Lae, particularly where dealing with land-purchase, development and housing and related issues were concerned.
They said that many hardworking and simple Papua New Guineans were missing out on opportunities.
Pai said an increasing number of state-reserved pieces of land and re­creational areas have been “purchased outside of normal procedures and processes which are being bulldozed through.”
He claimed the main culprits were business houses, with government officials involved.
“Land-grabbing and former government or institution houses that are being sold or their title­s given through back-door deals is a big issue, it is really sickening, can we investigate these thoroughly,” Nablu said.
Nablu, deputy president of the National Alliance party, said there were more than 4,500 government houses in Lae which should rightfully be auctioned or tendered publicly.
Nablu and Pai urged newly-elected Lae MP Loujaya Toni and Morobe Governor Kelly Naru to address these issues.