Allan hands over title to Tkatchenko

Former Minister for Lands and Physical Planning, Benny Allan, has handed over his title to the newly appointed Minister, Justin Tkatchenko.

This took place in a handover ceremony at the Department of Lands and Physical Planning in Port Moresby today.

Outgoing Minister Allan welcomed the incumbent minister in his speech, adding that he believes Tkatchenko will do what the department intends on doing to carrying out its vision and goals for the country in regards to lands and physical planning.

Allan said although he and the new incumbent minister did not see eye to eye on some issues regarding lands and planning, this time, he can appreciate what it means to be in the lands department and what it's like to go through.

"The process of land acquiring and the whole lot," said Allan.

He commended Tkatchenko, adding that the portfolio also comes with a whole new workload and challenges carried over from the last five years as well.

"The main one being the issue and perception of corruption in the lands department."

Tkatchenko, upon sharing similar sentiments, said it will be a new challenge but with the assistance of the outgoing minister and the working staff, he will make sure that this public perception about the lands department being corrupt will change.

Tkatchenko adds that the issue of settlements will be looked at, including agricultural leases and customary landowner issues as well.

He urges for the same working relationship to continue with him as he takes office.

Annette Kora