By Our Correspondent
In her country wide campaign to secure the land rights of citizens the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Ms. Judith Nabakooba has handed over 2,000 land titles in Lango Sub region.
The titles were handed over at Apworocero Primary School, Minakulu Town Council, Oyam District . Nabakooba handed over the more than 2000 freehold titles which have been processed by her ministry under the Systematic Land Adjudication and Certification (SLAC) program.
The minister who was received in the area by her Gender, Labour and Social Development colleague Betty Amongi, who is also the MP of Oyam South and other local leaders.
Nabakooba reiterated government’s commitments in the NRM manifesto help land owners acquire land titles to stem land disputes and evictions and foster production use of land .
“Utilise the land and use it safely. Use your titles to do productive activities and not to get bank loans” Nabakooba told the jubilant residents ..
“To the new registered land owners, I urge you to use your titles to generate more wealth now that it is safe from disputes. Avoid fragmenting and subdividing land because it becomed less productive.
Do not sell your land but put the certificates to productive use through accessing credit in order to transform your families and the nation at large.She added: “Guard your titles jealously . This is the beginning of a new generation of landlords powered by the government of Uganda,” she added .
Nabakooba explained that the government has put in place a deliberate effort to roll out a national program of systematic land titling with support from the World Bank, through the Competitiveness Enterprise Development Project (CEDP).
The minister said that the Lira MZO has many pending applications to be processed and they have put in place measures to quicken the processing which include streamlining the land titling procedures to enhance the speed-up the process of issuing new titles at the Lira Ministry Zonal Office and the Data Processing Centre in Entebbe.
“We are going to work hard to deliver the remaining titles. I am instructing the officers from my ministry to share the lists of the titles brought today with the local leaders so that they (local leaders) can share the same with the locals,” she said, urging all those that have not yet paid the Shs72,000/= as registration fees to do so to get their titles.
“My team is going to stay in the region until all titles have been given out. I expect a report from the RDC and mayor once this exercise has been completed in the region. I want to thank our development partner, the World Bank, other stakeholders and interested parties for supporting the government to achieve its pledges to the people to secure land titles.”
Mr Johnson Mukaga, the Project Coordinator CEDP, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development said that for the Oyam circuit, the ministry has over 34,000 applications approved for titling in the DPC.
Out of this number, the ministry has printed 2,000 certificates of title for the applicants who have paid the mandatory statutory fees of Shs50,000 for assurance of the title and Shs15,000 for deed plans.
“This means that over 32,000 applicants have not yet paid the statutory fees for land titling. This has a very big impact on the ministry’s plans to effectively and systematically generate and print the certificates of title for the beneficiaries in this region, though we have now started to put a government charge as an encumbrance for non-payment,” he said.
Mr Mukaga stressed that for the ministry to achieve the project targets of completing generation and printing of the remaining over 32,000 titles the beneficiaries should pay the mandatory fees for the ministry to expedite and complete the exercise in time .
According to Rtd ASP Hope Atuhire, the RDC of Oyam District the people of Lango have embraced the program. She said the women are the biggest beneficiaries.
“When people have their land titles they will work had to produce food – thus ensuring food security. Oyam people are very hardworking, we expect a lot of land usage and bumper harvests. Majority of the beneficiaries have not paid the statutory fees but now that they have seen their friends getting their titles, they will pay,”she said.
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