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Bayelsa introduces measures to curb land disputes

17 February 2014, 08:29Augustine Osayande

Abuja - The Bayelsa State Government has introduced new Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) as a measure to resolve land disputes in the state.

According to officials, the new C of O would go a long way in resolving land disputes as well as engender wealth creation for land owners with the establishment of the Bayelsa Geographical Information System (BGIS).

According to the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, as part of the activities to celebrate the second year of the Restoration Government, he decided to put in place a mechanism for the verification of land titles to enable the people become major players in the economy as landed property would become marketable.

“I also signed in your presence, certificates of occupancy pursuant to the law that we proposed to the Bayelsa State House of Assembly with the promulgation of the Bayelsa Geographical Information System Law. Among the factors of production, land is probably the foundation of all development. If we free up most of the titles we have and give verifiable and reliable certification of those titles that by itself is empowerment because we would have made it possible for persons to trade with their titles,” he said.

The governor noted that, one of the challenges that had bedeviled the State was the classification of wealth in view of the absence of reliable certification to land, stressing the need for Government to take pragmatic steps to create wealth and a sustainable economy as land was the foundation of all development. That is one of the reasons why we are not as involved as we ought to be in our local economy.

“That is why you cannot have small and medium scale businessmen and women because you cannot transact with your titles; meanwhile if you go to our communities or even in Yenagoa almost everybody has land but they cannot trade with it since there is no proof of ownership.”

He said investment teams have been directed to work out the details with which he would interact with financial institutions to streamline the empowerment programme Government intends to run. He also urged the teams to liaise with its counterparts at the federal level with the aim of keying into the recently launched Federal Government's mortgage re-finance initiative as well as look into the possibility of establishing a mortgage institution in the State.

The State Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Furoebi Akene, highlighted some of the features of the new Certificate of Occupancy which is electronic.

– CAJ News

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