Progress on delayed land titles for 53 Enterprise families

– GRA waives outstanding taxes
– AG Nandlall

Within a couple of months, 53 Enterprise, East Coast Demerara families will obtain the Certificate of Title for lands they bought over 20 years ago. This was the assurance given by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC at a community meeting on Saturday.

The meeting was the follow-up to an outreach held the previous Saturday with President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and the Attorney General, where residents raised their concerns.

The AG explained that several issues hampered residents from having total ownership of their lands. He said the families had bought the lands through the Sugar Welfare Fund. However, GuySuCo could not transfer the lands to the Sugar Welfare Fund due to taxes owed to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the local Neighbourhood Democratic Council. This hindered GuySuCo from getting its compliance.

The AG said to date, taxes from the GRA have been waived and a limited certificate of compliance has been issued. He added that he is working to get the NDC to follow suit.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall SC addressing Enterprise residents during the outreach

“Once the families get their Certificate of Title, they own the land, they own the property, they already have been living there, they have houses on it. They cannot go to the bank for a mortgage, they cannot pass the property on to their children, they cannot deal with the property because there is no title.

So, the families are very happy this ordeal has finally come to an end and hopefully, within the next two to three months, they would be issued with their Certificates of Title.”

The Attorney General said the interventions made by the Government since taking office have revealed that Government came to a halt in the last five years. The AG said there is a backlog of issues in every sector that has been ignored over the APNU+AFC time in office.

“Yet you see in certain areas, you see a flurry of activities with a few persons benefitting. So, I have been revealing the irregularities that took place at Lands and Surveys where lands were issued not to the ordinary people, but to friends and cronies.

Carry out a survey and find out how many house lots were distributed over the past five years and look at over the past five years look at how many commercial lands were issued at Ogle, all the river fronts and sea defences areas and see who got them and see the acreage and to whom. Not the ordinary people, but selected friends and cronies,” he said.

Enterprise residents during the outreach

Enterprise residents were elated by the swift intervention by the Government. Mr. Lokendra Persaud said he is happy with the way the issue is progressing.

“This has been a long issue. The residents went to several persons to have it addressed, but it was never addressed including former Prime Minister Nagamootoo… I am happy today that a timeline has been placed for the delivery of the titles and I am very happy that the AG has done great work,” he said.

Ms. Shakilla Prasad expressed similar sentiments. “He made so much good effort and we got good respond and he come back today to share with our people what is going on and I must thank him so much,” she said.

During the exercise yesterday, AG Nandlall was accompanied by representatives from GuySuCo, the Sugar Welfare Fund, the Deeds Registry and Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission.

The exercise is another example of Government engaging residents, listening to their issues and addressing them speedily.