Agencies instructed to provide land acquisition reports

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has instructed all relevant Government agencies to provide full reports on how the Manumanu land in the Central Province has been acquired.

Portion 406 in Manumanu was acquired at a cost of K46m by Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH) for the PNG Defence Force barracks relocation.

Cabinet made a decision in 2012 to relocate these Defence facilities to a suitable site.

O’Neill said the reports will assist with investigations by the Commission of Inquiry (COI), the Police Fraud Squad and the Ombudsman Commission.

The COI will be established to examine the allegations involved in the Manumanu land deal against senior ministers and senior members of departments.

A significant focus of investigations will be on the sale and purchase of portion 406 and the purchase of portions 422 for K7.2m and 423 for K9.2m by Department of Defence.

Other land transfers to be investigated are land portion 406, that is owned by Kurkuramb Estates Limited, portion 422 owned by Flystone Limited and portion 423 owned by Kosi Investment Limited.

In addition to that, the Department of Defence also acquired portion 698 behind ATS at a cost of K15.4m from Kitoro Number 64 Limited.

O’Neill highlighted that the funding for portion 406 was derived from MVIL, and as part of this investigation, it will look into the Boards of both MVIL to KCH.

The total cost of all of these transactions is K78.4m.

O’Neill said this is a large sum of money, a large transaction and there needs to be accountability and transparency. 

He stressed that the National Executive Council did not have any visibility or give any specific approval for the purchase of land.

He said at no time had NEC given any approval, which is required for transactions above, for this to happen.

“We expect Government Departments and relevant agencies, including KCH, to ensure that this is done in a planned, structured manner so that we can all have visibility of the transactions taking place.

“It is now clear that these agencies of Government have not worked together in a coordinated way to facilitate the implementation of the 2012 Government NEC decision,” O’Neill said.

He added that the acquisition of this land has been done in clear violation of the Government’s decision, and resulted in K78.4m being paid.

Quintina Naime