By PETER ESILA
REBUILDING of health and education facilities at Benaria village in Komo-Margarima, Hela, is a priority of the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) and its subsidiary Gas Resources PNGLNG Pipeline Limited (GR PNGLNGP).
This will follow the payment of royalty and dividend to clans in segment 2 and segment 3.
MRDC’s managing director Augustine Mano said a total of K3.76 million was paid to 174 clans of the PNGLNG Pipeline License 4.
The next priority task is to invest in community infrastructure projects in the area.
“The remaining balance from these payments will be distributed once the audits for subsequent years are completed,” Mano said.
“The payments took a while to complete given MRDC had to facilitate the account openings for each beneficiary clan in the eight segment areas – almost 1,000 accounts before payments were made.
“There are eight segment areas covering five provinces, which the 700-km PNGLNG pipeline runs through.”
Segments 2 and 3 covers the Benaria and Homa Paua regions of Hela.
The dividend and equity payments were from the 40 per cent of total royalty and equity benefits.
Mano said after the 40 per cent cash payments were made to the PNGLNGP, the remaining 60 per cent would be divided – 30 per cent to the Community Investment Trust Fund (CITF) and 30 per cent to Future
Generations Trust for investment purposes, a requirement of the Oil and Gas Act.
“Getting the 40 per cent cash component is good but we all know money doesn’t last long.
“Access to basic services such as health and education is important for the Benaria communities because schools and health centres will benefit the communities in the long run.
“This is what we plan to do, we will use the 30 per cent funding allocated under the CITF to rebuild the health centre and classrooms for the school,” Mano said.
The tribal fight between two warring clans destroyed the Benaria Health Centre and school.