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Suspended Lands Commissioner says allegations are misleading

Suspended Commissioner of Lands Nelson Naoapu. Photo credit: customarylandsolutions.com

The suspended Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Survey Nelson Naoapu claims, media statements about his involvement in illegal lands sales in Honiara are misleading.

Earlier the Permanent Secretary for Lands, Stanley Waleanisia spoke to SIBC News about the the land sales in Honiara which led to the suspension of Mr Naoapu as the Lands Commissioner, and seven other government officials.

But Mr Naoapu said that his office was only facilitating what was already approved by his predecessor.

“So i see the news item as misleading and not true to say that i gave the land at Henderson. I see this as a cheap shot by the Lands PS which he issues every time as a propaganda to save himself, and also his job at the expense of blaming and sacking his staff as scapegoats.

Mr Naoapu said, he only facilitated the decisions made by the former Commissioner of Lands.

“Any decision or approval by the former Commissioner of Lands is deemed or regarded as approved , therefore it does not require the approval of the Land Board.

“When i came in the office in 2016, i did not have the power to allocate land nor have i any powers to stop any land application that is already inside the process and approved by the former Commissioner. As far as the Land application process is concerned, my job as Commissioner of Lands is to facilitate.”

The Island Plaza building along the Henderson Airport runway.

SIBC Online understands, the sale of the controversial Island Plaza along the airport runway led to the suspension of the Government officers.

Investigation into the matter continues.

Meanwhile, the Guadalcanal Chief Planning Officer Mr Bernard Tova has appealed to the general public to acquire approval from the Guadalcanal Planning and Development Board before establishing any development on Guadalcanal Land.

Mr Tova made this appeal while commenting on the controversial issue regarding the land allegedly sold illegally to an Asian business man at Henderson Airport.

Mr Tova clarified any development on the land within Guadalcanal Province, should have the board’s approval.

He said, this includes both the commercial and non-commercial developments.

“We kindly appeal to the public that any kind of development on our land that will destroy its original nature , you must check with the board for approval.
So you can come and collect the forms in our office.

“We also have a new form. Everything is new, after the new act. Alot of people don’t know but i think that we should let them know.”

Mr Tova added, the board will also assist anyone with information regarding the land under the Honiara City Council and the Guadalcanal Province.

“If you’re not sure if you’re inside Honiara or outside, you also come . And we along with the City Council will help to identify where your development will take place. We know that some people too don’t know and they are confused and they go to the City Council.

“Later on we find out but they already have the approval from the City Council.”

By: Charley Piringi and Allen Waitara  

 

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