Long wait for land titles costing lives

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 17th, 2013


PEOPLE in East New Britain have been waiting for the past two decades and some have died waiting to receive their land titles, provincial lands adviser Jeffrey Leba says. 

But, he said the waiting game was hopefully over following a recent visit by Lands Titles Commission to the province.

Leba said recently the commission visited the province and deliberated on land tenure conversion applications that had been outstanding since the early 1990s.

The commission’s functions include the administration of the Land (Tenure Conversion) Act, which allows customary landowners to register title to customary land. 

The commission authorises registration of that land.

“The commission is responsible for customary land that was put out for titling but the office of the Lands Title Commission had not been functioning for a long time and the people have been made to wait a long time,” Leba said.

“If you want to free up customary land and it has to go through the process of becoming freehold title and it is not a lengthy exercise but it is that office that is holding that information because it has gone defunct for some time.

“There are a number of outstanding applications that have to be ironed out and some of those people died waiting.”

Leba said he was relieved the commission had visited the province to clear outstanding applications.