Unity paves way to development
UNITY is the only powerful tool that would pave way for development.
This was the strong message from Mr Patrick Ladongis – the director of Anitua Mining Company in Papua New Guinea.
Anitua is growing its reputation for its breadth of services and ability to provide complete end-to-end solutions, spanning industries as diverse as shipping, hospitality, property development, construction and mining.
In an interview with this paper, Mr Ladongis said landowners must unite with common goal and that is to bring maximum benefit to rural people, landowners and the country as a whole.
He explained that one of the important strategies the landowners should undertake is to carry out an effective consultation in preparation to draft requirement that would help landowners strike a better agreement with investors.
Mr Ladongis stressed that landowners need a proper and clear platform so that agreement accommodates maximum benefits for the resources owners as well as ordinary communities.
He said election of landowners representatives must be made by the clans as the power of tribes comes down to the clan.
“First and important commandment is unity and cooperation, additionally, there is need of strong leadership to unite landowners,” Mr Ladongis said.
He warns landowners that politics is a threat to development and that landowners must stay away from Political interference.
He continues to say that interested investors must know and understand the culture and tradition of Solomon Islands.
Mr Ladongis adds that ownership of company must reflect the culture and traditional context of Solomon Islands.
He advises investors that involvement of locals in their administration is important so that there a fair representation of both the landowners and investors in the company.
On the same note, Mr Ladongis stressed that it is important for any ruling government to adhere to landowners’ development aspirations.
He said Government has the legal decision but the landowners have the right over their resources and that the government should listen to landowners.
Mr Ladongis also said that stakeholders such as the provincial government and government ministries must work closely with investors and landowners on their development aspirations.
“Our history proves that, decision from landowners along with support from government bodies can drive development forward.
“This is because, we as Melanesian believes that the land belongs to us though the state think they have the right below six feet.
“In logical thinking, development cannot takes place even government push for potential development that would boost the economy because you cannot push away people and resource owners to implement development.
“This is wrong in the Melanesia cultural context, as such government must listen to the landowners,” he explained.
Mr Ladongis said Anitua has a very effective business model where landowners, investors and the government have come to terms after long negotiations.
He stressed that Anitua is standing alongside Axiom Mining Company in its development aspiration in Solomon Islands mainly because the respect they have for the culture and landowners.
Mr Ladongis said Anitua Group of Company is currently assisting landowners and Axiom in making sure landowners, communities and the government have maximum benefit from the Isabel Nickel project.
He said the Anitua Group of Companies was founded by a small group of entrepreneurial Lihirian landowners in 1989.
Mr Ladongis explained that the company comprise a diverse range of specialised companies complementing and supporting each other to provide value to organisations across many industries.
“Our success is built on a foundation of personal and professional integrity and commitment to excellence. As a company and as individuals, we guide our conduct by the highest standards of honesty, integrity and ethical behaviour,” he said.
Mr Ladongis said Anitua Group has employed over 1500 people on Lihir Island, with another 2000 people employed throughout PNG.
We pride ourselves on our ability to work well with people of wide cultural backgrounds and “to offer sustainable employment and bright futures to our employees.
“Our focus on safety and training is part of our commitment to the delivery of world-class solutions. A number of our businesses have achieved Recognised Training Operator (RTO) standards in Australia and National Training Council standards in Papua New Guinea,” he explained.
Mr Ladongis said the combined strengths of local experience, cultural knowledge, highly trained staff and strong management makes Anitua a perfect partner organisation.