Source: The National
A cabinet minister has pledged his commitment to support the development of oil palm at Turubu in East Sepik.
Correctional Services Minister and Wewak MP Jim Simatab (pictured) told a gathering at Tumeru village in Turubu last Friday that he would provide the political support because it was an impact project for the district and province.
“Let me make it clear to you that as long as it is an oil palm project, I am supporting it. I am not supporting logging or any other activity, I am supporting oil palm,” Simitab said.
“When the project was first discussed with me by the chairman of the landowner company Aron Malijiwi in Port Moresby 10 years ago, I assured him of my support.
“Therefore, Wewak district under my leadership put down the first money for mobilisation work and
together with the East Sepik provincial government we have been continually supporting the project over the years.
“I am pleased to learn that over 300,000 palms have been planted and would like to thank the chairman for working under extreme criticisms and very soon we will have the mill and prove our critics wrong.”
Landowner Company, Limawo Holdings Ltd manager Godfried Raushem thanked Simatab for providing the political stability needed to push the project forward.
Raushem said the project is still in its development stage but has already paid a huge amount in excess of K15.7 million to the country’s financial coffers.
“This area where we are developing has been regarded as ‘back page’ because people walk days to catch PMVs to access goods and services in town.
“But since July 2009 when we commenced operation, we have now built 230km of road that have also connected parts of Angoram and Yangoru Saussia districts.
“We are providing other community service obligation and have recently assisted in clearing the proposed site for Turubu LLG headquarter and
high school. We will also provide K300,000 to partner with the district in implementing this project,” Raushem said.