Leading super fund Nambawan Super Ltd last week slammed the PNG Land Board's decision on three portions of prime State land in the National Capital as an "illegal process."

Managing Director Leon Buskens also refuted claims by the Land Board Chairman Friend Kini that Nambawan Super had not sent its representatives to make its presentations.

The POST-COURIER reported last Thursday that the Land Board had awarded three portions of land, worth about K30 million, to a subsidiary of Malaysian giant Rhimbunan Hijau (RH).

Nambawan Super Ltd was the most prominent applicant but Mr Kini said its tender applications for the land at Badili Hill and Koke heights were not considered because the super fund had failed to send it representatives to make presentations.

Mr Buskens has refuted claims by the Chairman of the Land Board that it did not send its representatives to the Land Board to make its presentations as "factually incorrect."

Mr Buskens said; "The fact is that we withdrew from the tender process due to what became apparent as an illegal tender process."

The facts to the land are:

Nambawan Super Limited was the registered proprietor of an Urban Development Lease ("UDL") over Portion 1539 containing 9.865 hectares which was subject of State Lease Volume 20, Folio 110 in the name of a wholly owned subsidiary, Peachester Limited.

In 2007, Nambawan Super became aware of the expiration of the UDL, and took immediate steps by content of a letter to the Honourable Minister of Lands dated 21 November 2007 to initiate the process whereby the UDL would be renewed given that the Fund had expended a considerable sum of money on the commissioning of professional services to detail and document the sub divisional development of the land.

In the absence of a response to our letter of 21 November 2007, it therefore came as a complete surprise to Nambawan Super to learn that 3 new UDL's, apparently called from Portion 1539 and adjoining land, had been advertised for tender by the Lands Department, which completely ignored Nambawan Super's interest in Portion 1539 as previously communicated to the Minister.

In an attempt to secure the three new portions, Nambawan Super lodged tender applications for all 3 UDLs. However, these tenders were subsequently withdrawn by the content of a letter to the Chairman, Papua New Guinea Lands Board dated 24 September 2009 on the advise that, the process of packaging and tendering the advertised  UDLs was incorrect and unlawful, in which case it was concluded that Nambawan Super's involvement would legitimise the unlawful process.

Mr Buskens said, "As a consequence, Nambawan Super has initiated legal proceedings against the Minister for Lands and others and our membership is assured that we will vigorously pursue our interest in this matter."

He said; "Finally, it is a major concern to note the speed of the entire process in this particular parcel of prime land as well as the shallow statement by the Chairman of the Land Board to pass judgement on the development and financial capacity of applicants.

"It is altogether a very sad indictment on the state of land acquisition in our country that the interest of the nation, wealth creation for our people and future generations has not been carefully considered in this particular case."

Nambawan Super has over 100,000 members mostly from the public sector with a growing number of private sector companies joining the Fund. It is the largest superannuation fund and is the premier property owner and developer in PNG.



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