5 Sep 2006

Nagriamel group keen on US investor in Vanuatu's Santo

3:12 pm on 5 September 2006

A group of customary landowners in Vanuatu says they want to see a project involving an American investor buying land in Santo go ahead to inject development in their area.

The Lands Minister, Maxime Carlot Korman, has signed an MOU with Texas-based Pacific Vanguard Corporation, who wants to take freehold land in Big Bay to establish a Free Trade Zone.

The landowners, from the Nagriamel movement, have formed a committee called the Serwill Nagriamel to push for the deal.

This is despite criticism from other chiefs in Santo that the government has not followed the right procedure to get the right idea of the real landowners.

The committee's treasurer, Peter Ngwele, says their local people are supportive of this project.

"And we want the project to come and give jobs to students when they've finished school. But the Americans are already in Vanuatu - they're in Vila. Maybe they'll come down to Santo this coming Friday. and then we'll have a ceremony, and the Americans will visit all the land we have."

Peter Ngwele.