By HELEN TARAWA
New Britain Palm Oil Ltd is the first major corporate organisation to partner with the government to implement the national identification (NID) project.
A memorandum of understanding signed yesterday between the Department of Planning and NBPOL paved the way for this project.
National Planning Minister Charles Abel said NID and the civil registry capacitating programme was crossing-cutting in terms of the benefits.
“Part of the process is partnership and New Britain Palm Oil is one of the biggest employers in PNG and a very valuable partner working in an important sector,” Abel said.
“We want to do all we can as government to improve that partnership and improve the value that is being provided to PNG citizens not just through employment, but through engagement with our landowners so they can have royalties and other benefits and revenues from being small holders, rent collectors and royalties collectors by engaging with private sector to utilise their land to generate benefits for them and the country.
“We cannot do that if we don’t have a proper system in place to facilitate that process, so that is a very important part of what the government is doing and that is the land reform process.”
NBPOL country manager Robert Nilkare commended the Government saying the NID project was an important initative.
“We impact on 5 per cent of PNG’s total population and PNG NID in essence will provide critical people data to help us manage our business and small holder partners and planning for future development.
“We place a lot of emphasis on our partnership with our customary landowners and in terms of ILG (Incorporated Land Groups) registration.
“We fill that identification cards as this will help us in terms of ILG registration and the issuance of customary leases for small holder development.
“We have about 23,000 people who work for us and 113,000 individuals within the family groupings that directly benefit from NBPOL.
“We are looking at expanding another 24,000 hectares of state and customary land leases.
“In order to achieve that, a government mandated a form of identification such as the PNG NID will greatly benefit the company.
He said the NID project made their job easier.
By HELEN TARAWA