Land deal baffles Juffa

Source: The National

NORTHERN Governor Garry Juffa has warned companies and individuals planning to develop natural resources in the province to seek permission from the provincial government first.

He sounded the warning after he was alerted on Tuesday that an overseas company had claimed in a foreign newspaper advertisement that it had secured 100,000 hectares of land in Northern.

Juffa said the provincial government was surprised because it was never consulted by relevant government agencies and the company itself.

“This is another example of land-grabbing taking place without the knowledge of the provincial governments, landowners and the Government,” he told reporters in Port Moresby.

He said the Malaysian company had claimed in that country’s media and on the stock exchange that it had secured 100,000 hectares of land in Oro, for agricultural development.

Juffa said the provincial government had no idea about the project or how the company secured the 100,000 hectares of land.

“We do have a vast amount of land for development and we intend to have agricultural projects but if these companies and their agents try to sneak in through the back door, I can assure you that there will no such projects,” he said.