Wednesday 4 October 2023
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, has assured the Koiari landowners of Central Province, that the government is taking their concerns seriously and is committed to resolving the issue promptly.
To demonstrate this commitment, Prime Minister also announced the immediate release of K5 million from the Treasury.
Prime Minister Marape was responding to questions without notice by Member for Hiri-Koiari Hon. Keith Iduhu, in Parliament on Tuesday over the outstanding claim of K15 million by the Koiari landowners of his electorate.
However, Prime Minister Marape emphasised the importance of transparency in the distribution of these funds.
He urged the Koiari landowners to clarify the recipient(s) of the initial K5 million disbursement. Furthermore, he highlighted the need for the Treasury and Finance departments to meticulously assess the remaining K10 million claim before disbursing the funds.
This cautious approach stems from past instances where funds were distributed among Koiari landowners, but only a select few benefited, leaving the majority without compensation.
In an unprecedented move, Prime Minister Marape also disclosed a groundbreaking plan for the Koiari landowners.
Under this new structure, they will become 20 percent beneficiaries of water resources from their land, with PNG Water assuming a 60 percent stake. Additionally, the Central and National Capital District governments will each hold a 10 percent stake.
Prime Minister Marape underscored that this innovative approach represents a significant departure from previous practices and is aimed at ensuring a more equitable distribution of resources among the Koiari landowners.
The Prime Minister further announced that Ministers from the Commerce, Treasury, and State Enterprises departments are actively engaged in addressing this matter as an urgent priority.
Following the parliamentary session, these ministers, along with Hon. Keith Iduhu and Central Governor Hon. Rufina Peter, convened to discuss the issue in greater detail.
Prime Minister Marape’s commitment to resolving this matter and implementing a novel framework for resource distribution underscores the government’s dedication to fostering equitable and sustainable development in Papua New Guinea.