Villagers get buses, offices from K1mil share

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A LANDOWNER company has paid more than K1 million in dividends to six villages in Lae to help them start business operations.
The Ahi Investment Limited is owned by the Ahi people who are the traditional landowners of Lae city. The six villages sharing K1,074,774.54 are Butibam, Kamkumung, Hengali, Yalu, Yanga and Wagang.
The company used the money to buy six buses and built fully furnished portable offices for the villages.
With the support of the landowner charitable trusts Ahi Prudential Development Ltd and Ahi Hope Foundation, it also paid K20,000 each to the six villages as seed capital. The villages also launched their associations to manage the businesses. The six buses cost K954,774. 54.
The subsidiaries generating revenue are the catering company Coastal Retail Services, Riback Stevedore Ltd, South Pacific International Container Terminal and Ahi Properties Ltd. Chairman George Gware said it was the first dividend to be paid out to the villages after the restructure of company in 2015. It was then known as Ahi Holdings Ltd. The Charitable Trust was established in 2016.
“We are working towards registering the village associations so they can manage themselves.”
The buses will operate on city routes. It is the first time for the villages to own and operate PMV buses in Lae.