|Foreigners own 70 to 80 percent of PNG land|
The newly appointed lands board has found that 70 to 80 percent of land in the country is owned by foreigners.
Chairman Sam Wange told EMTV news that over the 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 is the most important asset owned by Papua New Guineans.
The chairman said corrupt deals over the years have led to the abuse of almost all the state and traditional land in the 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 Guineans, so where are we going to go after twenty years,” said Wange.
“My team is now going around the city and provincial centers to inspect lands,” he said.
For the first time, the lands board is working closely with the Investment Promotion Authority and the Internal Revenue Commission to identify companies that have titles to large blocks of land.
He said many land masses have title holders; however, some of these large masses of land throughout the country remain undeveloped.
He cautioned landowners to be careful when dealing with companies and individualswanting 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 about the future generation,” he said.
The new board was sworn into office this year by the minister, and was tasked to clean up the mess that has built up over the years, particularly the special agricultural business leases.
The chairman is adamant that following this nationwide inspection, more corrupt deals will be revealed and stopped.