FURTHER to the interesting discussion on the now-defunct Waghi Mek plantations in Jiwaka, some serious investigation needs to be done into the alleged manipulation of share transfers initially held by councils of North and South Waghi into an exploration company called Eastern Pacific Mines solely owned by late Dick Hagon (and his associates) when he was initially hired to provide management services through his company called ARMS Management.
It is believed that all 14 plantations were making a turnover between K150 and 200 million a year until its demise in early 1990s due to landowner resentments over alleged mismanagement and manipulation into ownership by late Hagon.
Interestingly, one of the current state ministers in his hay days was hired as a chief consulting partner geologist to the named mining exploration company.
This alleged connection was obvious when he was adamant to pump public small-to-medium enterprise funds to revive those group of plantations under the pretext of getting landowners to get into cooperatives structures to produce all output for the Waghi Mek company that was now deemed to be owned by someone else.
It is better to expose everything for the sake of transparency, accountability and good governance to shine line into such sinking holes for public funds. I hope Prime Minister James Marape gets a balanced briefing on that matter too as some people known as paper consultants have already crept into his inner and outer circles.