The newly appointed lands board has found that 70 to 80 percent of land inthe country is owned by foreigners.
Chairman Sam Wange told EMTV news that overthe years, corrupt deals have seen almost all state and traditional land abused in exchange of large sums of money.
Mr. Wange said his team has now embarked on reviewing all land titles and licenses this year.
The board chairman said land isthe most important asset owned by Papua New Guineas.
The chairman said corrupt deals overthe years have led tothe abuse of almost allthe state and traditional land inthe country.
His team is now on a nationwide mission to inspect and review all land titles.
“Seventy to eighty percent of our land is not owned by Papua New Guineas, so where are we going to go after twenty years,” said Wange. “My team is now going aroundthe city and provincial centers to inspect lands,” he said.
Forthe first time,the lands board is working closely withtheInvestment Promotion Authority andtheInternal Revenue Commission to identify companies that have titles to large blocks of land.
He said many land masses have title holders; however, some ofthese large masses of land throughoutthe country remain undeveloped.
He cautioned landowners to be careful when dealing with companies and individuals wanting to purchase land.
He said land is an important asset and people must manage it wisely for future generations.
“If you don’t have enough capacity to operate your land, you register it and lease it. Do not sell your land, think aboutthe future generation,” he said.
The new board was sworn into office this year bythe minister, and was tasked to clean upthe mess that has built up overthe years, particularlythe special agricultural business leases.
The chairman is adamant that following this nationwide inspection, more corrupt deals will be revealed and stopped.
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