Landowners want K11m seed money

National, Normal

The National, Friday, May 13, 2011

JUHA petroleum development licence (PDL) 9 landowners have petitioned acting Secretary for Commerce and Industry John Andrias to release the overdue K11 million seed capital immediately.
The signed petitioned was delivered to Andrias yesterday by Juha Landowners Association chairman Hengebe Aluya, who claimed they had missed business opportunities in the PNG LNG project early works last year.
Aluya said the Juha PDL9 seed capital had been withheld for too long.
He said the Juha people acknowledged the delay had been because of infighting, resulting in lengthy court battles, some of which were still pending.
However, the landowners still blamed the state.
“We blame the national government for its failure to conduct proper social mapping and land demarcation,” he said.
He said had that been done it would have eased all landowner issues because the genuine landowners would have been identified.
The landowners petitioned the Commerce and Industry Department to:
* Immediately pay or recommend payment of seed capital for Juha PDL9;
* Seed capital for Juha be paid to the six recognised landowner companies and all the applicants be screened and approved by the department;
* John Wabi’s request for 62% of Juha PDL9 seed capital should not be entertained as Wabi did not own all the land within PDL9 project area;
“We reiterate that if the seed capital is not paid immediately, it will not serve its intended purpose.
“The reason is that all the spin-off business would have been picked up by our brothers and sister from other project areas.”
Attempts to get comments from Andrias were unsuccessful.