JIS News

Ninety-two beneficiaries in rural St. Catherine, received their certificates of title yesterday (September 25), from the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP).
The titles were issued under a programme seeking to regularise and disburse some 420 such certificates titles for land occupied in the parish, which have never been registered before.
The beneficiaries were from the districts of Bog Walk, Knollis, High Mountain, Bybrook, Wakefield, Cheesefield, Browns Town, Shenton and Commodore.
Principal Director for Land Policy and Administration, in the Office of the Prime Minister, Rohan Richards, told JIS News, that LAMP was using a new strategy for the issuance of the certificates of titles to beneficiaries.
“This time around we’ve opted for smaller functions within communities because we think that the impact would be greater. We have some 420 certificates of title to be issued and what we have done is to compartmentalise it into the different communities and have small functions in those communities,” he said.
With land without a title seen as “dead capital”, land owners have been coming forward since the Government embarked on a programme in 2000, to ensure that persons occupying land, particular family land, which had no title, received their certificates of title.
A pilot project was started in St. Catherine and some 30,000 parcels of land were surveyed. This meant that beneficiaries did not have to bear the expense of having surveys done themselves, therefore reducing the cost of getting their titles.
In addition the Government passed the Special Provisions Act, which included provisions to eliminate transfer tax and reduce stamp duties, as well as registration fees associated with getting a registered title.
Mr. Richards pointed out that LAMP is commendable, as the programme would dramatically increase legal land ownership islandwide. “We have only about 450,000 parcels of land registered of the estimated 700,000 parcels islandwide and what LAMP and the National Land Agency (NLA), are trying to do is to increase the base of ownership so that everyone can become registered owners,” he told JIS News.
Beneficiary, Imogene Harrison, from Cheesefield District, who is a senior citizen, said she was ecstatic about receiving the title to the land she occupied. She said she has been seeking to acquire her title since her mother died many years ago and now she was glad to receive it.
Clifton Oldacre, another senior from High Mountain, who has been living on his two-acre family land for over 59 years says he was overjoyed. “I feel very happy because for a very long time I’ve been searching for it and now I’ve got it. I respect that greatly and I am very happy,” he said.
Mr. Richards advised that persons wishing to become beneficiaries under the programme should contact the nearest LAMP office and the legal team will assist.