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PM Marape Says PNG LNG Project Landowner Funds are intact

PNG  Prime Minister  James Marape has urged PNG LNG Project landowners from Petroleum Development License (PDL) not to make themselves look silly by  chasing Government for funds that may no longer be a direct entitlement in the Budget. 

He said landowner direct entitlements from what was signed in the Umbrella Benefits Sharing Agreement (UBSA ) at Kokopo, and split by percentage  at all the Landowners Based Benefits Sharing Agreements (LBBSAs), are the royalties and equity which needs their help to be  released for their use.

"Based on September 2021 figures , this fund is now over K1.1 billion that is sitting in accounts held by both Government and Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) at Bank South Pacific and Central Bank," PM Marape said. 

“When I met landowners in 2019, I encouraged them to assist Department of Petroleum and Energy complete the clan vetting by removing various court cases, some of them filed in both national and supreme courts.

" This will allow for their rightful entitlements to flow through like what the landowners of Papa-Lealea are presently receiving.” 

PM Marape also informed landowners that what ever else was owed as, if any, as per UBSA and LBBSAs would be verified and settled. 

"So far, based on records,  various bodies of landowners and provincial governments have been recipient of funds under the auspice of various agreements," he said. 

"We are presently verifying these under the leadership of Petroleum Department. 

" I want to tell the so-called landowners in Port Moresby that  I have been here since day one, and I know all these dynamics at play. 

"You all have lived through the Somare Government and O'Neil Government over the last 10 years and these issues keep on recurring. 

" I am trying to put in place  permanent solutions to these outstanding matters, and it does not help when you protest and run all over the place for some so-called IDG, HIP, BDG or MOA funds when your own royalties and equities are sitting idle in the bank.

"We will complete verification of what is owed to you by agreement, and I will bring the figure to you all at PDL areas and not Port Moresby. 

" A date will be set up soon, but you must help too in completing your landowner ID processing so I can release your better fund, your direct entitlements, the royalty and equities.

" These funds will not be released to individuals, but to clans and associations at project areas for all to benefit instead of a  few."   

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