Maipakai blasted for issuing misleading statements on MoA

National, Normal

The National

FORMER Gulf governor Riddler Kimave has blasted Kikori MP and Labour and Employment Minister Mark Maipakai for issuing misleading and erroneous statements about the release of MoA funds for the Kikori Oil and Gas Pipeline Landowners Association (KGPLA).
Mr Kimave said the statement by Mr Maipakai published last Tuesday in The National, showed Mr Maipakai was ignorant of the process involved in the disbursement of the MoA funds.
“It is embarrassing that a minister is ignorant of the process set down by the Government in the use and disbursement of MOA funds,” Mr Kimave said,
As the chairman of Omati Landowners Association, he said the funds, totalling K60 million that has been released this year was part of K220 million in project submission that was approved by cabinet and Parliament for release to the Kikori landowners.
The submission done by Mr Kimave, set out 10 major impact projects to be funded with MoA funds.
The National Executive Council approved the submission, and Parliament also gave its approval by allocating K60 million in last year’s supplementary budget to be released to fund the  projects.
The Department of Planning released the funds in accordance with the project submission.
Of the funds released; K20 million was allocated to Mr Maipakai and his JDB&BPC, K10 million to Gulf provincial government, K12 million to Mesebe landowners, K12.6 million to KGPLA, and K4.5 million to Omati.
Mr Kimave said the funds allocated to Omati were tied to various projects identified that were beneficial to landowners.
So far K2.4 million had been released to buy pump boats from the Philippines.
Eight of these fishing boats are already in Port Moresby, awaiting clearance.
Another K2 million had been allocated for a housing project for landowners.
Building materials were bought from PNG forest products and shipped to Kikori and currently undergoing construction.
The houses will be built at Gibidai, Omati, Bisi, Goare and Babaguna villages, Veiru and Kikori stations.
Contract has also been awarded for the construction of the Kikori-Omati – Komaio road, amongst other infrastructure and development projects being planned.
He challenged Mr Maipakai to spell out what projects he has funded with the K20 million that he received for his JBD&BPC.
“What has Mr Maipakai done with the K20 million?
“What has he done with the K10 million allocated in DSIP funds?
“What has he done with the K1 million given to him by KGPLA?
“He has to show the projects and account for these money.
“Thirty-one million kina is a lot of money. Where are the projects?” Mr Kimave asked.
Mr Maipakai has in fact been sued by landowners who want the K20 million returned to them.
The case was filed at the Waigani National Court after the funds were released, and is pending in court.