The National – Monday, June 27, 2011
THE people of Southeast Mananda in Southern Highlands have welcomed the appointment of Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape as Minister for Petroleum and Energy.
They thanked Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal and the national government for recognising the leadership qualities in Potape.
They said Potape had made history for Komo and Margarima politics when he was given this important ministerial portfolio.
In a meeting in Port Moresby yesterday, people’s representatives Thomas Potape and Joe Wija said the appointment was a first for Komo-Margarima and especially the people of Wabiago, Takobali, Homani, Atare and Honapasulu.
“The people are happy that their own son from the area hosting the country’s multi-billion-kina liquefied natural gas project, has been given this important ministerial portfolio,” Wija, who is a kiap (government’s official representative) at Komo, said.
“Having the local knowledge on how to interact and work with his people, we are certain that all outstanding landowner issues relating to the LNG project will be fast-tracked and resolved.
“The people of Southeast Mananda PDL2 and Hides gasfields, Juha, Angore, international airport area and Northwest Moran PDL5 and PDL6 are honoured to have this important ministry given to our own son.
“We see this as a God-given ministry.”
The Komo LLG president explained that although the six LNG project areas speak the same language, they vary in customs and traditional beliefs.
“Other politicians from Southern Highlands will not understand how our people think and talk.
“Potape can, and he has been given the portfolio to deal with his people’s LNG and other outstanding resource issues,” he said.
“Our chiefs, especially the elderly, are now prepared to talk with Potape to progress the LNG project.”
He said under Potape, there was a good chance that the K41 million Komo to Ayagaipa road project funded under an Oil Search tax credit scheme would be progressed further.
Work on the road had started with funding from the provincial and local level governments.