The long-awaited Infrastructure Development Grants for Petroleum Development Licensed areas in the Hela Province were paid today to the Hela Provincial Government.
A total of K75 million was paid for infrastructure projects in PDLs 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8 areas in the Province.
Certain refinements were done to the LBSA and UBBSA agreements to ensure the revenue flow from the LNG project translates into tangible benefits for those impacted by the project.
All three open members of Hela province and their Governor, Anderson Agiru, were today present at the National Parliament State Function Room, to receive their Infrastructure Development Grants for the year 2013.
These monies will be used to carry out projects already identified in each development licensed area.
Planning Minister, Charles Abel said there were ongoing concerns that despite lots of money going to the people, no tangible benefits have been delivered, so the new MOUs signed will not replace the UBSA and LBSA agreements; rather, they will improve the process of delivery of these agreements.
He said these MOUs were not legally binding like the LBSA and UBSA, it is just an understanding between the National and Provincial governments on IDGs, so that the national government knows what the provincial government will deliver, and the provincial government also knows how to deliver its projects.
Prime Minister, Peter O&rsquO’Neill thanked the planning department for ensuring mechanisms were in place to monitor the use of funds, and said the government had a duty to fulfil its commitments to the landowners.
He said the full cabinet will be visiting Hela province soon, so the government can appreciate the work being carried out on the LNG project in the province.
In the meantime, IDG grants for Juha and Moran will be paid later, under a separate MOU as they lie between two other provinces, one between Hela and Western, and the other between Hela and Southern Highlands.
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