Markham oil palm interim board stalling projects

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 31st, 2013

 THE Markham Valley Oil Palm (MVOP) board’s refusal to relinquish power is contributing to the stalling of the project, according to some landowner groups. 

Max Wabi, chairman of the 26 indigenous land groups (ILGs) that make up the estate, said yesterday the interim board was still interfering with matters to do with the ILGs.

Wabi said MVOP interim chairman Daniel Wohwiehembe was a government employee whose role was to advise and assist landowners on the project.

Wohwiehembe said on Monday that several investors were interested in developing the project in the Markham Valley but blamed the project’s problems on the delay in the payment of K4.5 million by the national and Morobe governments.

However, the ILGs blamed the MVOP for the project delay.

“There was no general meeting in the three years the interim board took office and now that the 26 land groups have organised themselves, MVOP still has no management in place and the interim board is still in the way and trying to direct and dictate matters,” Wabi said.  

“Land groups want to know the whereabouts of K100,000 that the former management supposedly awarded to a contractor to build roads. 

“There is no road and what has happened to the money?”

Wabi blamed the project management for causing doubts among investors.

Markham MP Paul Isikiel said he was concerned about the delay in the start of the major oil palm project in his electorate,

He said future project funding should be made under the Joint District Planning and Budget Priority Committee.  

It is understood that only 4,000 of the 150,000 oil palm seedlings in the nursery at Umi Technical School have been replanted while the rest are still waiting transplanting.