The National, Wednesday 19th September, 2012
By EMMANUEL MAIPE
MINERAL Resource Development Corporation (MRDC) has transferred Oil Search shares and dividends it has been holding in trust to Misima Island landowners.
MRDC representative Kini Renagi met with the landowners on Misima last Tuesday to transfer the shares and distribute dividends from shares in accordance with Misima mediation agreement (MMA) which was reached earlier this year.
Renagi said the visit was significant because it also meant that MRDC was closing its file on Misima.
“Now the responsibility will be on the landowner associations and the leaders to decide for the benefit of your people on what to do with your Oil Search shares and to distribute the dividends fairly,” he said.
As per the MMA the shares were transferred to the nominated landowner associations, as follows:
n Misima Towoho Siung Association – K1,028,572 in shares (50%);
n Siung Association – K411,428.80 in shares (20%);
n North Misima Co-operative Society Ltd – K308,571.60 in shares (15%); and
n Magamega Association – K308,571.60 in shares (15%).
MRDC also paid the landowners outstanding Oil Search dividends amounting to K177,814.59 and this was distributed to Misima Towoho Association (MTA) – K88, 907.29 (50%)
Thereafter, MTA is to transfer to Siung Association Inc (15%), Emel Ltd (15%) and MTA Association (20%).
Another K88, 907.29 was paid to special mining lease (SML) landowners who are represented by three entities and were paid as follows:
n Siung Association – K35, 562.91 (40%);
n North Misima Co-operative Society Ltd – K26, 672.18 (30%); and
n Magamega Association Inc – K26, 672.18 (30%).
MRDC held K2, 057,144 shares on behalf of the Misima landowners.
The transfer and dividend payment was the first successful mediation process MRDC had been involved in, which finally settled landowner disputes that had been going on for the last 17 years.