JIS News

Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Daryl Vaz, on Wednesday (July 17), distributed 37 Certificates of Titles to beneficiaries occupying land settlement schemes in Hanover, St, James, and Westmoreland.
The handing over ceremony was held at the St. John Methodist Church Hall in Montego Bay, and represented part of Government’s objective of empowering citizens by providing them with security of tenure for land.
The function was also part of activities for the National Land Agency’s (NLA) islandwide road show and public education campaign, aimed at educating citizens and prospective landowners on the procedures involved in securing a title.
Addressing participants at the ceremony, Mr. Vaz described the occasion as “special” as, not only was the Government issuing certificates of titles, but also seeking to educate the public on the importance of regularizing their tenure.
“This government has recognized the importance of having property registered. As a result, we are on an urgent mission to empower our people by providing them with security of tenure. We clearly understand the emotional impact (that) land ownership (has on) the vast majority of our people, who have had a history of marginalization and exclusion from land ownership. Many people tend to downplay the emotional tie, but the history of our people has been a continual struggle for a little space on this rock we call Jamaica,” Mr. Vaz noted.
He said the administration was cognizant of the fact that individuals were empowered through security of tenure, and was driven by the realization that a strong economy cannot be built solely on social justice, or the quality of individuals’ lives improved without ensuring that they have property rights.
“For this very reason, the National Land Agency has been having these road shows islandwide to educate people on the advantages of having a registered title, and about estate planning,” the State Minister informed.
He further told attendees that the Government was also aware that it was only through an accelerated titling programme that the economic potential of the land, owned by “so-called poor people”, could be maximized.
In this regard, Mr. Vaz said the administration was committed to working with the parish councils to effect speedy and timely approval for land settlements currently being subdivided, as well as expedite those to be being surveyed.
“Ladies and gentlemen, many of you have been waiting a long time to get your titles, and many are still waiting. I ask that those of you who are still waiting bear with us, because the National Land Agency has been and will be working very hard throughout the year. I have no doubt that with your titles in your hands, you will move towards prosperity,” Minister Vaz said.

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