Hides LOs want K35 million

Landowners have called on the Government to honour a K35 million commitment it made over a year ago as part of a special compensation to landowners on which the PNG LNG project operates from.

Hides PDL 1 landowners from Southern Highlands said this should be part of the Government’s resumption of the Landowner Beneficiary Identification (LOBID), which was announced on Tuesday.

The landowners said the promise of being paid the compensation has seen them incur huge costs in the capital city.

The landowners say they have yet to receive the K35 million promised to them in August 2016 by the former Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Nixon Duban.

The monies, which were part of the Infrastructure Development Grant (IDG), were promised to the landowners from Hides PDL 1 and PDL 7 after they barricaded ExxonMobil’s entrance to the plant in Hides.

Of the K35 million, PDL 1 would receive K20 million while PDL 7 would get K15 million.

“We have never received the money. So we are asking the Government to release this money between now and the first of December and offset some of the liabilities that have incurred since we signed that agreement,” said Dickson Ango, from hides PDL 1.

“We thought we would get this money and we have borrowed money, and we bought airfares, accommodation, food, living here in the city because government already promised this money and we thought we would receive this money on time.

“Now our creditors are after us and we are living in fear in Port Moresby.”

Treasurer Dairi Vele informed TVWan this afternoon that the funds have been put away in a trust account due to court challenges relating to the IDG funds.

He said as per order by the court, the funds will not be moved until such a time the court makes a ruling.

Cedric Patjole