The National, Friday, April 29, 2011
By JUNIOR UKAHA
TEN clans from the Papa area in Central have received K100,000 as royalties for the use of their traditional land by an LNG contractor.
The Vanehako, Rurua, Vane, Boera Gevana, Gevana, Dabara, Geara, Mobagaba, Larogaba 1 and 2 clans of Papa, situated on portion 2485, each received K10,000 from Leighton Wagner Ltd through its umbrella company, Veari Holdings Ltd, as payment for the extraction of gravel from the Iokoru mountains.
Presenting the cheques to the respective trustees, Papa paramount chief and VHL chairman, Nao Nao advised them the payments were “seed capital to set up clan companies to meaningfully participate in the spin-off businesses that are emanating from the LNG project in the plant site at portion 152”.
Nao said it was the first payment since the establishment of the quarry and there would be more payments to the respective clans in subsequent months.
VHL managing director Nicky Maraga said the company and its quarry came into effect last November and the payment of royalties to traditional landowners in such a short time was quite an achievement.
“We receive payments for the tonnage of gravel taken from our land by Leighton Wagner Ltd for their quarry work,” Maraga said.
He said the money was then used to pay royalties to the respective clans and to meet logistics expenses and administrative costs.
Hebore Vaguia, a trustee from the Geara clan, who received a cheque on behalf of the 173 people he represents, said the money was small compared to the plans they had but hoped later payments would enable them to effect set plans.