Marape advises landowners on how to secure land deals

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PRIME Minister James Marape has advised the people of Motu Koitabu not to sell their customary land to individuals and developers without ensuring that there would be long-term benefits.
He yesterday attended a forum organised by the Motu Koitabu Assembly (MKA) to conclude the 2019 land summit roadshows held last month in the Motu Koitabu villages of Vabukori, Pari, Mahuru, Kirakira, Korobosea, Baruni, Tatana, Elevala and Hanuabada.
“Instead of selling your pieces of land for K10,000, you can divide them into 1,000 allotments and lease each to individuals and businesses. It will give you more than K10,000 a year,” Marape said.
Assembly chairman Dadi Toka Jr handed over to Marape a list of recommendations including concerns raised by his people during the roadshows. “Only 40 per cent of the land in NCD is customary land, which makes us the only landowner group in Papua New Guinea whose land consists of more alienated state land than customary landowners,” Toka said.
“If we do not take drastic and transformative action on managing our customary lands, we will lose our remaining land within 10 years.”
National Research Institute researcher Logea Nao said 17 resolutions were raised by the Motu Koitabuans. One is that the assembly has an active voice when dealing with the Government and developers.
“Because of the lack of development in these areas, the people are pushing the MKA to be recognised by Parliament,” she said.

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