Govt urged to pay landowners

National, Normal


PETROLEUM development licence (PDL) 1 landowners want the National Government to immediately release the K49 million seed capital for them to participate in LNG project’s early works.
In a meeting in Port Moresby yesterday, the leaders of the eight blocks – Hiwa, Tuguba, JP Karai, Hapono, Tuguba Tapira, Kama Kera, Ilu and Kobalu – said they had been left out of early works.
“We want our promised seed capital and other business development grant totalling up to K120 million promised at the Kokopo umbrella benefits sharing agreement (UBSA) and Nagoli licence-based benefits sharing agreement (LBBSA) signing to be released.
“Five months after the LBBSA signing last Dec 8, we are still waiting. The Government has failed to honour its commitment,” team leader Philip Undialu said.
“The early works for the LNG project started four months ago and we are still lost as our seed capital has yet to be given.
“If the Government wants the Commerce, Trade and Industry Department to look after the business affairs of landowner groups, they can do so with other PDLs but not for PDL 1.
“We want our seed capital, business development grants, and other MoU funds to be channelled directly into our established holding companies for the eight blocks,” Mr Undialu said.