Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC), Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, has said that land ownership is an untapped area for economic growth and development, and requires urgent attention.
The Minister, who was speaking at a recent titling ceremony for the National Land Agency (NLA) Systematic Land Registration (SLR) Programme, said that he will continue to lend his support to the programme in Parliament.
“During my tenure as the Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, I was determined to effect significant change in this area. I realised that it was an opportunity for our citizens to enjoy security of tenure, especially as it relates to securing their rights over land,” he recalled.
He said that he was honoured “to have sown the seeds that have now sprouted into a glorious tree for the titling ceremony for the Systematic Land Registration Programme”.
He expressed confidence in the new Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, to bring greater success to the programme.
The SLR gives persons who have been in open, undisputed, and undisturbed possession of land for 12 years or more, the opportunity to own that land. Thirty-five St. Elizabeth residents who qualified were presented with their titles at the ceremony.
With St. Elizabeth being one of the parishes with the highest number of unregistered land, he said the decision was made to prioritise the parish to kick-start the programme.
Minister Hill congratulated the title recipients and encouraged others who currently possess land to learn the benefits and use of the Systematic Land Registration Programme to get their land titles.
He noted that the St. Elizabeth handover ceremony was proof that the programme does work, and that the Government remains committed to increasing the opportunities for the acquisition of land to develop and produce personal and commercial gains.