PNG LNG Landowners Call Benefit Sharing Agreement ‘Failed’

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$423 million in grants ‘misappropriated’ or ‘pending’

By Merolyn Ten

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 17, 2015) – PNG LNG Project landowners want an explanation and investigation on the "failed commitment" for the Umbrella Sharing Benefit Agreement grant of 2010-15 phase one.

Behalf of the LNG Project sites Landowners, Bobby Pari, one of the claimed landowner and Chief consultant to the project said a total of K1.2 billion [US$423 million] Umbrella Sharing Benefit Agreement (USBA) grant is believed to be misappropriated or still on pending due to unknown reasons.

"The USBA agreement signed at Kokopo by over 300 landowners and the Government was a complementation of the 2000 purchase of the Environmental impact assessment reports which were bided together to access the K12 billion [US$4.23 billion] loan from the Arab International Petroleum company. "While the K12 billion was obtained from Arab Internation by Independent Public Business Corporation, it is our understanding that the money is not in the country," Mr Pari said. He said they believe that there is still a massive deplete in the PNG LNG Project benefits for the landowners.

"This holdup has greatly affected about 80 per cent of the UBSA signatories and as a result, they have never participated in the macro economical projects in the rural economic since 2010.

"Also, we were committed with Infrastructure Development Grants and High Impact grants for 2010- 2015 but no commitments have been met so far," Pari said.

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