Department pays K8m to land groups in AROB

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

THE State through the Lands and Physical Planning Department has paid a total of K8 million to two landowner groups in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
The two groups include the Buka airport landowners (K5m) and Siokatei landowners (K3m) of Arawa village in Central Bougainville.
The K5 million was paid to Runghunahan Incorporated Land Group (ILG), the traditional landowners of the Buka airport with its chairman, Herman Tugen.
A further K3 million under a lease agreement was paid to the Arawa/Loloho/Poraka Resource Owners Association for the lease of their land by the national government that have not been paid since the last payment in 1990.
The two payments were facilitated by the Deputy Secretary of Lands Services Luther Sipison, First Secretary Luke Kegoyatyoyu and senior lands officers who accompanied the National Planning Minister Charles Abel during his recent official weeklong visit to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
Minister Abel on behalf of the Lands and Physical Planning Minister Benny Allan who was not able to make it to Arawa presented the K3 million cheque to the Paramount Chief Francis Niona.
Minister Abel said land is important “to us as Papua New Guineans and as a government, we want to fulfill our commitments as part of the Bougainville Peace Agreement”.
“How we deal with land and the landowners is very, very important. They have to be at the forefront of any activity that’s concerning their land. We need to recognize, honour and respect our landowners and what’s due to them we need to give them,” Abel said.
Ms Jaintong appreciative of the national government’s swift action told Minister Abel and the government delegation that the funds would be put to good use especially in assisting to alleviate poverty in their community.

Hon. Benny Allan, MP
Lands & Physical Planning Minister