Lands and Physical Planning Minister, Hon. Benny Allan responds to Buka airport landowners' demands
Wednesday September 10, 2014
THE Minister for Lands and Physical Planning, Benny Allan says the recent closure of the Buka airport and the actions of the angry landowners is uncalled for.
“The actions taken by the landowners is illegal and causes a lot of unnecessary inconvenience to the airline industry and the traveling public.
“On the outset our message to them is clear; the cheque is ready, all you have to do is iron out your differences as we will only deal with one legitimate ILG,” the minister said.
He was responding to demands by airport landowners in the media to have Lands Department in Port Moresby to furnish them with their Incorporated Land Group Certificate and the agreed compensation payment of K5 million.
“We were advised there were two factions of landowner groups but what we have on record with the department is that we have only one duly registered ILG group which is the Runghunahan ILG.
“The cheque was released on the 31st of July, 2014 and made payable to the Runghunahan ILG group but due to internal dispute we had to hold back. It’s not that we did not get the check ready, we had the cheque ready in time, but because there were factions, we told them to iron out their differences before we handover the cheque. The department is on top of things.
“Our initial message to the landowner group is that we will only deal with one ILG group which the department is aware of and that is the Runghunahan ILG.
“Hence apart from this ILG group which the cheque is written to, we understand there is also another group under the same ILG but they’ve got another account. This is between the ILG chairman, Herman Tugen and his deputy, Raymond Hakena.
“The chairman got one account under this (Runghunahan) ILG group, the deputy opened up another account under the same ILG group which is more or less like the business name called Runghunahan ILG Limited.
“That is the confusion which prompted the department to withhold payment and I have just directed my Secretary, Mr Romilly Kila Pat to organise the conflicting landowner factions to convene a meeting with the provincial administration in Buka today to resolve their differences.
“As such we will wait for the outcome of the meeting and upon their advice the department will then be able to go out and make the cheque payment and issue the said ILG Certificate.
“It is not the department causing the delay or not even making any attempt to pay them. In this situation where we have two or more factions, the department will not deal with them or pay out anything until and unless they resolve their differences.”
Hon. Benny Allan, MP
Lands & Physical Planning Minister