Mon | Oct 23, 2017

Abandon it! - Opposition alarmed over decision to merge National Land Agency with Land Administration and Management Programme

Published:Tuesday | February 7, 2017 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott

The Opposition People's National Party is demanding answers from the Government over what it says is the ill-advised move to have the National Land Agency (NLA) merge with the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP), announced last week by information minister Senator Ruel Reid.

Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns, the opposition spokesperson on land, told The Gleaner yesterday that the matter was being shabbily handled and has called for full disclosure from portfolio minister Daryl Vaz.

Frazer-Binns claims that the proposal is causing unease among those concerned with land, including attorneys who practise at the private Bar.

She has further called for the proposal to be abandoned.

"It is a bad move. It is a bad and illogical move and one that is ripe for conflict of interest," Frazer-Binns said as she expressed alarm over the proposed merger.

"People are asking, 'What is going to happen to my property?' Limited things have been said and people just do not know what is happening."

 

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

 

Frazer-Binns, an attorney-at-law, in making the case for the Government to abandon the proposal to merge the two entities, contends that "the NLA has not delivered on one of its many tasks, which is land settlement. They have not completed that work ... ".

The opposition spokesperson argued that with the proposed merger, the NLA would be applying to itself for titles.

She explained: "The NLA is charged with issuing titles, and LAMP is tasked with the responsibility of getting titles by applying for them. There is a clear conflict of interest, so we want answers as to what will happen then."

The attorney, serving for a second time in the Senate, told The Gleaner that while LAMP was not a perfect entity, it was more effective than the NLA.

"LAMP has been able to give titles to thousands, and thousands of Jamaicans would not otherwise have been able to obtain one whether because of cost or the process that is involved," Frazer-Binns said.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com