Landowners want transparent identification exercise


Principal landowners of Hides PDL 7 in Hela want the 2019 landowner beneficiaries identification (Lobid) exercise to be transparent and free of corrupt practices.
In welcoming the announcement by Petroleum Minister Fabian Pok on the start of the Lobid exercise, Umbrella Hides PDL 7 Association Inc chairman Erick Hawai Ako and team leader of the 10,000-plus landowners Huriba Andago, said previous clan-vetting exercises in the PNG LNG Project impact areas of Hela had failed because of corrupt practices involving Government officials, consultants and “paper” landowners.
They said their Tuguba Tribe owned 100 per cent of Hides PDL7 and 50 per cent of PDL1.
Their people’s support and participation in the Lobid exercise is crucial for its success.
“Our 10,000-plus landowners will support and co-operate with the Government to make the Lobid exercise a success in Hides PDL7,” they said.
“The onus is on Minister Pok to ensure that transparency prevails and corrupt officials, especially in the Department of Petroleum, are excluded from this exercise.
“Corruption perpetrated by these Government officials, paper landowners and their consultants has been the hallmark of the clan-vetting exercise in Hela since 2013.
“We, the principal landowners of Hides PDL7, are the main victims of these corrupt government officials and their cohorts.
“We have missed out big time due to a conspiracy involving the Petroleum Department and a fake authority to defraud our K15 million project security funds in 2017.
“Enough is enough.
“We want Minister Pok to direct his department to remove all corrupt officials from the Lobid exercise and appoint a new team that can instil transparency in this vital process.
“Only then will we co-operate to ensure the exercise achieves its objectives.”
The two leaders said a transparent and corruption-free Lobid exercise would have the support of all PNG LNG Project stakeholders, including ExxonMobil and Oil Search, who want this overdue process to be completed without further delay.