National Lands Secretary Responds to Lae’s Land Problem

by Bethanie Harriman – EM TV, Lae

Papua New Guinea’s National Lands Secretary, Romally Kila Pat says the National Lands department is dealing with problems created from land titles granted to individuals before the Morobe Provincial Lands board was established.

Romally Kila Pat explains that before the Morobe Lands board was established, individuals were going straight to National Lands Department to get titles.

“We will deal with the things that happened in the past when they didn’t have the structure in place,” he says.

These problems include the duplication of land titles that have accumulated over three years during the Morobe Provincial Lands board absence. The board was disbanded by the Morobe Provincial Government after allegations of corruption surfaced.

“The process has to start in Lae and we will conclude the process by signing and registration in Port Moresby,” says Kila Pat.

Those that skipped the process have caused duplication of land titles and after the Morobe board was established in 2013, pressure has been on it and the National Lands Department to deal with problems created from land titles granted to these individuals.

Morobe’s land problems has drawn attention from Political heads including Morobe Governor, Kelly Naru and the wider Lae Community.

One of the most widely followed land tussle was the three sections of state allotments opposite the Angau Hospital allocated for its redevelopment.

Its understood that these sections are still being disputed in court and may delay the construction of new facilities for Angau Hospital including a state of the art Cancer treatment facility.

The section and its allotments that was put aside for state use had been given away to individuals, the National Lands department had acted and taken back the allotments, but the move has landed the department in court with those alleging to have titles.

Within three years of the Provincial Lands Boards absences, land around Lae City were subdivided and allocated to individuals.

It has now caused problems for provincial lands division and national lands department.


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