Hides licence holder questions commitments

National, Normal

The National – Friday, December 31, 2010

 OUTSPOKEN Hides PDL1 landowner leader Simon Ekanda has labelled the ministerial commitments as bribery money just to induce resource owners to sign various LNG agreements.

The Tuguba clan chief, who claimed to be the custodian of the prophetic “gigira laitebo” (gas), said there was no such thing as ministerial commitment stipulated under the Oil and Gas Act.

He said any ministerial commitment made by state ministers during the Kokopo umbrella benefits sharing agreement (UBSA) and licence-based benefits sharing agreement (LBBSA) were mere lip service to make resource owners give away their rights and resources.

“What sections of the Oil and Gas Act make provision for a ministerial commitment?” Ekanda asked.

“These are fat lies just to induce resource owners to sign. 

 “Despite the National Court ruling on the Kokopo UBSA as illegal and a non-binding agreement, the ministers went ahead and made unsubstantiated commitments with no effect.

“In the oil and gas, there is no UBSA or LBBSA. There one provision that is mentioned in the Act is the development forum.”

He said the memorandum of agreement (MoA) grants must be tied to projects and should not be released until and unless previous MoA projects for existing oil and gas project areas proof otherwise.

“The National Planning should be in a better position to advise the government as to how they do with the fund because they oversee the MoA project.

“Otherwise, the MoA funds will be a waste because precedence has been already set in not acquitting previous MoA funds,” he said.