Ramu people awaiting Lands decision

National, Normal

THE Kumbukari landowners of the Ramu nickel mining area in Ramu, Madang province, are calling on the Government to allocate fund to the Land Title Commission (LTC) so that it will recognise the legimate landowners of the area who will be representing their people as soon as the project begins.
The landowners said it had been five years and the LTC had not responded on who were the legitimate landowners. 
They said about nine landowner groups were claiming to be genuine landowners and the multi-billion kina project could be affected if the legitimate landowners were not recognised by the LTC.
Chairman of the Tigina clan Peter Bagme and his secretary Simon Tiamura said this last Saturday in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands province.
Mr Bagme told The National at Hotel Kimininga that currently there were no landowner groups representing the people of Kuruma Kare because LTC had not appointed any through the normal process.
He said the landowners would miss out on royalties and spin-off businesses because LTC was not putting any effort to appoint any legitimate landowner group.
Mr Bagme said the LTC would only speed up the process if the Government made funds available.
“It has been five years and we are still waiting on the Government to name the legitimate landowners of the multi-billion kina project area,” Mr Bagme said.