The Act, which has been forwarded to the House of Representatives for concurrence, will, when passed fully into law, establish an autonomous agency of government called the “Liberia Land Authority (LLA)” which will be devoted solely to land matters.
The Liberian Senate’s vote came amidst holistic approval and significant modification of the Act by the Senate’s Joint Committees on Lands. Mines, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment, and Judiciary, Human Rights, Claims and Petitions in the chambers of the Liberian Senate on Tuesday.
With 16 Senators voting in favor of the LLAA, none against and one abstention, the Act, according to Grand Kru County Senator Albert Chea, will capacitate the LLA to oversee the implementation of existing land legislations such as the Act Against the Criminal Conveyance of Land and the proposed Land Rights Act.
Chea in an interview with Legislative Reporters said the Act will also give LLA the authority to take over the land functions previously carried out by the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (LME), something which will change the name of the LME to Ministry of Mines and Energy.
Chea stressed that the establishment of the Land Authority marks a cardinal step towards preparation for the sustainable management of all lands in Liberia, including the resolution of the perennial problems of land disputes.
He said this one-stop agency for all land issues will oversee programs in land governance, including land administration, use and management and land policy review and planning.
Chea noted that the benefits of establishing the LLA as enshrined in the Act, exceeds any concern about the external financial cost to the Government of Liberia, adding that Fiscal Impact Analysis for the establishment of this new agency has determined that there already exist starting resources for manpower development and operations.