Locals want to revoke land lease

Source: The National

LANDOWNERS in Turubu, East Sepik, are calling on the Government to revoke the Special Agriculture and Business Lease on their land.

Spokesman Gabriel Molok said there had not been any oil palm development in the area in the six years since the lease was granted.

Molok said the people had not seen any tangible development but only damage caused by logging.

He said the lease covering Turubu known as Portion 144C was granted to Sepik Oil Palm Plantation Limited in September 2008 for oil palm development.

But to date, there has not been any oil palm had been grown there in that area although there were nurseries being built for the seedlings.

“We have not seen any benefits from this proposed development but only more problems are affecting the people,” he said.

The SABL for Turubu was for a period of 99 years and covered an area of 116,840 hectares.

The lease covers the entire Turubu local level government and a part of neighbouring Sausso.

According to the land investigation report compiled by the Department of Lands and Physical Planning, the proposed use of the lease was oil palm development.

In May 2011, the Government launched a Commission of Inquiry into the SABL.

The final report of the inquiry noted problems with the Turubu lease.

The inquiry recommended that the SABL granted to the Sepik Oil Palm Plantations be revoked.