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Landowners threaten to close 5 fish processing plants over unmet project benefits

Since the agreements were signed four years ago, they have received  K5000 per year for the five portions of land they own.

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Thomas Ahi – CEO, BUP

Landowning clans in Lae are threatening to close down  five fish processing plants  if the government doesn’t  review the existing agreements that govern them.

 
The clans,  which include the Ahi and the Busulum,  say they’ve been cheated of development benefits.
 
Since the agreements were signed four years ago, they have received  K5000 per year for the five portions of land they own.
 
The threat comes after three years of  complicated wrangling with the government and the companies over landowner benefits.
 
If the landowners have it their way,  Majestic Seafoods,  Frabelle and  three other fish processing  factories will be  forced to shut down next  Tuesday.
 
Landowner company, BUP development, are calling of the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) to review the existing agreements  so that  they receive  more in terms of landowner benefits.   
 
After four years, it has now become clear, landowners got  a bad  deal.  
 
The landowners  are paid  a total of K5000  annually for the five land portions they leased to the companies.  The deal was negotiated by the provincial administration  at the start o the projects.
 
Apart from a 2 million kina premium payment   made several years ago, the landowners receive little else.  They are also not party to agreements between the state and the fish processing companies.
 
They also don’t know what the terms of the state agreement are.
 
The landowner company since issued a 7 day  notice to the government to  come  Lae for negotiations.
 
They are demanding K20 million in compensation as well as  a review of the memorandum of Agreement they signed with the companies. 

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