LOs told to bring issues


KOIARI landowners in Central have been told to go to the Finance Department to address issues relating to outstanding land claims.
Finance and Rural Development Minister Rainbo Paita was responding to landowners who shut down the Rouna 2 station over their outstanding payment of K5 million committed by the former government.
He said the cheque was raised in May and awaited the state to sign a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the landowners.
However, Paita agreed that a lack of response from the State had frustrated the landowners and led to the shutting down of water supply to Port Moresby on Saturday.
“I’m working now with the landowners to finalise a MoA in consultation with relevant authorities,” he said.
“After I brought the landowners chairmen to my office, I told them the State would not be held and seen to be held at ransom and the Finance Department was where they should address issues in regards to outstanding payments.
“They agreed and we agreed to take the steps in aligning future support.”
Paita said the National Capital District Met Supt Perou N’dranou, representatives from the Central government and PNG Power Ltd were present to witness the negotiation.
“So to conclude, no payment was made.
“We just released the cheque printed in May and at the Finance Department.”
N’dranou confirmed with The National that the cheque was released to representatives of the four Integrated Land Groups (ILGs) on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, Paita said from the K5 million committed, K800,000 had already been paid and they used that for clan vetting and other related registrations for the four ILGs starting from Sirinumu to Rouna.
“This was an outstanding payment of K4.11 million.”
Paita said the reasons for the cheque delay would be released in a statement after full information was obtained.
“The reality is that we need to honour all our commitment to the resource owners. Outstanding issues seem to resurface and create problems like this.
“I made a judgment call yesterday (Saturday) given that one or two more days and the city would have suffered greatly.”

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