The National, Tuesday October 29th, 2013
By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE Government has been called on to establish mutual understanding and cooperation with landowners by honouring agreements.
Finance and Treasury has been asked not to delay payments under those agreements.
Beneria Pipeline Segment 2 Landowner Association chairman George Hato and chairman of Pagale Builders and Suppliers Ltd Samuel Mulungu want the government to honour its commitments under umbrella and landowner benefit sharing agreements made in 2009.
They said among some of the agreements were the business development grants, ministerial commitment for landowner companies and high impact grants managed by respective provincial governments.
Hato and Mulungu said the landowner group, through its company, has been pursuing ministerial commitments without success.
They said their submission of K6 million was approved and endorsed by respective authorities, the Prime Minister’s Department, Minister for State Enterprises Ben Micah, Minister for Finance James Marape and the Department of Petroleum and Energy, but Finance and Treasury were delaying the payment.
They said their paramount chief, Ango Hato, died last month during the process and that had forced them to give the State a 14-day notice for the release of outstanding ministerial commitments of K6 million.
“The PNG LNG project construction phase is winding down with about 1km of pipeline along the Beneria segment 2 yet to be completed and the death of Hato, have propelled us to bring to the attention of the State and seek release of the fund,” they said in a petition to the prime minister.
“We seek that there is mutual understanding and relations between the national government and the project landowners. Since the announcement of the PNG LNG project, we cooperated with the government and the developer and we are happy to see the project start production. However, the manner in which our submission has been delayed by the bureaucracy is frustrating. We are genuine landowners and not paper landowners in Port Moresby.
“Therefore, we would like to inform the government and put it on notice that after the 14 days, we’re prepared to take action and stop the completion of the pipeline,” they said.