JIS News

Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Roger Clarke, yesterday (July 11) broke ground for the construction of a new building to house the Montego Bay regional office of the National Land Agency (NLA).
The new facility will be located at 3 Federal Avenue, the site of the existing facility, which has outgrown its space.
“Our customer service officers dedicated to this part of the operation have outgrown the areas assigned to them, and need proper accommodation to ensure that a high level of service is continuously delivered to you in a comfortable environment,” said Chief Executive Officer of the NLA, Elizabeth Stair.
She added that “our expanded operation will continue to offer valuation services in addition to the titles and survey services we have introduced.”
The project, which is estimated to cost $9 million, is slated to begin within a few weeks and is expected to be completed in three months. The contractor is KSA Engineering Consultants, while the National Works Agency (NWA) will serve as project managers.
Minister Clarke, in his remarks, described the NLA as one of the Ministry’s flagship institutions.
He said the groundbreaking for the construction of the new office complex marks the culmination of more than a year of hard work, to realize the agency’s aspiration to decentralize its services, and to more effectively meet the needs of persons in western Jamaica.
According to the Minister, viable options must be made available for persons who cannot go into Kingston to access services.
“If we are serious about rural development and maintaining viable activity and high standards of living in areas outside of the capital city, we have to be able to provide sustainable services to rural and semi-urban communities,” he pointed out.
The opening of the NLA’s Montego Bay office came out of a four-week pilot project introduced in April 2006.
Mrs. Stair informed that after eight weeks of operation, the necessity for the continuation of services in the western region became so obvious that the project became a permanent part of the agency’s operation.
“While we expected the support from the selected participants, we were overwhelmed by the general demand. At the end of the eight weeks our customers would not let us leave,” she stated.

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