Landowners upset over funds

National, Normal

THE National Executive Council (NEC) has given a break-down of the K120 million business development grant promised to landowners at the BSA forum in Kokopo, East New Britain, which has not gone down well with Kutubu landowners.
The NEC decision No 122/2009, made on Aug 19, will see the break-up of funds to landowner groups.
Hides PDL 1 will receive K20 million; Hides PRL12, K15 million; Kutubu, K10 million; Juha, K11 million; Angore, K12 million; Moran, K4 million; Gobe, K8.2 million; pipeline landowners, K10,128,000; and LNG plant landowners, K17,472,000.
Kutubu landowners, in a meeting last Thursday, gave a 24-hour ultimatum for a response on the petition for outstanding MoA and SSG (special support grants) commitments and the K10 million be increased to K50 million from the business development grant
Landowner representatives from Namo’aporro, Foe, southeast Mananda and Kutubu pipeline set aside their differences to push for a common agenda at the Crowne Plaza Hotel last Thursday.
The landowners, totaling about 100 packed into ballroom four, gave the Department of Petroleum and Energy (DPE) until 11 o’clock last Friday morning to address them on their petition which had been given to DPE and the Prime Minister last month.
Kossy Sosoro, speaking on behalf of the Moro-Soro Region of PDL 2, said money made from Kutubu was being used to pay Hides landowners.
“We want K50 million from the K120 million of the business development grants. We are not happy with K10 million.” Mr Sosoro said.
Deputy chairman of Namo’aporro Landowners Association, Sakai Kei, said there would be no LBSA until all outstanding MoA and SSG funds were received.
Association chairman Hami Yawari said the National Government had not honoured its commitments under the Kutubu Development Agreement.
He said Kutubu landowners signed the UBSA in Kokopo on the understanding that outstanding MoA and SSG funds would be paid.
Mr Yawari said the State-owed Kutubu a total of K774 million in SSG and K1.4 billion in outstanding MoA since 1996.