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JIS News

Scores of residents turned out at the St. Helen’s Catholic Church in Linstead, St. Catherine on Thursday (January 31) to take advantage of the services being offered by the National Land Agency’s (NLA) through its ongoing Road Show series.

The sessions, held across the island, are aimed at sensitising the public about the process to obtain a registered land title as well as to address any other land-related concerns.

Chief Executive Officer of the NLA and Commissioner of Lands, Elizabeth Stair,told JIS News that the NLA has been embarking on this initiative for several years in a bid to extend its reach to more persons.

“We recognise that people have a lot of things they want to ask us about land matters, whether it is how to get a title, how to get on the tax roll, dealing with their land settlement issues, because some people have boundary problems or they are not getting their title. So we have these meetings to take our work out to the people rather than to have them come in to us,” she said.

She informed that other agencies involved in the land titling process were also invited to take part, such as the Administrator General’s Department (AGD), the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP), National Housing Trust (NHT) and Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ). Approximately 136 residents were seen by the various agencies.

Mrs. Stair noted that this was the third road show being held since the start of the year, noting that five road shows are planned for between February and March, with the next one scheduled for Montego Bay. The first two were held in St. Ann and Trelawny.

To facilitate the high demand for land services in Linstead, the NLA has given its commitment to visit the town at least once per month.

“Because of the crowd here, we are going to try and come back because there is a lot of work out here obviously to be done. So we are going to try and come until we see the numbers go down,” she said.

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, who was on hand, said he believed the NLA Road Show “is a very good and important step” in the process of creating an “ownership society” where all Jamaicans, regardless of their background, education or socio-economic standing, can secure land ownership.