Petroleum Minister defends illegal land deals
Petroleum Minister and Madang MP, Nixon Duban, has gone to the media to defend two illegal land deals in which a company owned by his family and associates has acquired prime green spaces in Madang town.
Duban, see story below, says the deals have been approved by the Provincial Assembly and will see the construction of two 15-story hotels and a seven-story shopping mall.
But Duban has not answered any of the questions over the issuing of the leases or, indeed, denied, they are illegal.
The Minister should explain:
- who is the Korean company he says will build the facilities?
- why were the leases issued to a company owned by his relatives and associates?
- why did the Minister not reveal this conflict of interest when lobbying for the Lands Minister to issues the leases?
- how could the leases be issued under S.72(d) of the Lands Act when the land does not contain any State buildings and therefore the Section cannot apply?
- why was the land rezoned by the National Physical Planning Board in Port Moresby without the knowledge and consent of the Madang Provincial Physical Planning Board.
- what is the name of the company he claims local organisations will own a stake in and how will they benefit from that ownership given the development is very unlikely to show a profit in the foreseeable future?
- what role does the Chinese company Loyaluck Investments, whose name is disclosed in paperwork as linked to the deal, have in the affair?
New look for Madang
DOROTHY MARK in The National (aka The Loggers Times)
MADANG will see the development of two 15-storey hotels and a seven-storey shopping mall under a new K500 million business investment plan.
The plan has been endorsed by the provincial assembly.
MP Nixon Duban told the assembly that the plan received much criticism in the social media because many people were not aware of the economic benefits of the investment.
He said the shopping mall would be constructed at a cost of K300 million by a Korean company. Duban said Madang people would own 30 per cent of the shares in the investment.
“The building itself will have restaurants, banking facilities, private clinics, office spaces, recreational park, children play ground and shops,” he said.
Duban said Transgogol, Ambenob and MULLG would have 5 per cent shares each, the business arm of the Bel people in Madang called the Yamauan LOA would own 5 per cent, Madang district, would own 5 per cent and 120 community-based organisations, which benefitted under the district’s K1 million credit scheme, would also receive 5 per cent of the shares.
He said 70 per cent of the shares was for the investor.
Duban said the investment was a result of the Madang’s investment summit last year.
He said two hotels would be erected at a cost of K200 million with big economic benefit for the district. The projects would take two years to complete. “Those people posting the negative image of the investment on social media represent their own self-interest. It is a political gimmick and should not be entertained,” Duban said.
He said the shopping mall and hotels development would place Madang in a better position to gain city status.
Duban received the full support of the assembly to go ahead with the investment on behalf of the Madang Urban, Ambenob and Transgogol local level governments.