REPORTS have surfaced that the country’s leading Palm Oil producer Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited (GPPOL) as of next month would come under a new management.
GIPPOL is currently being owned by foreign investors with land owners having only a minimum of twenty percent shares in the company.
However sources revealed that within the next month, the company will be under a new management as a vast majority of shares will be sold off to another foreign investor, something that could trigger the loss of the twenty percent shares of the landowners.
Details of whom or which investor will take over have not yet been revealed however sources claimed that the takeover is well in process.
The news of this development has somewhat sparked concern amongst both plantation workers and landowners who fear that they may not at all have any shares in the company once it is placed under the so-called new management.
Speaking on the issue, concerned landowner, chief and board member of the GPRDCL (Guadalcanal Plains Resource Development Company Limited) Benedict Garimane, which is responsible for the twenty percent share of landowners, said that development may trigger non-payment of landowners’ long service benefits.
“Under the current owners and management, we have an agreement that all landowners and work force long service benefits will be looked after by the company.
“The company will pay for our long service benefits.
“However once a new management takes over, then we may be at risk of not receiving any dime at all for our hard work and also our lands which are being harvested by the company under this agreement,” Mr Garimane said.
He added that they (landowners) do not want similar problems as such faced by Gold Ridge to happen to both the company and resource owners.
“We do not want the same problem faced by Gold Ridge resource owners to happen to us, leaving us with nothing at the end of the day,” Mr Garimane said.
He added that the landowners have not even been notified of such takeover, adding that dealings behind closed doors or behind landowner’s backs were not at all appreciated by them (landowners).
“If this rumor is true, which is already circulating amongst us the landowners causing much concern, then the company must be ready for our demands or else we may take industrial action or other legal implications,” Mr Garimane said.
When contacted yesterday, a company rep informed this paper that no such rumors were real, adding that decisions cannot be made without the consent of all shareholders in the company.
He added that the landowners need not to fear as their agreement is still being honored by the Company.
By JEREMY INIFIRI