By Prince Mulbah |Contributor |
The Liberia Land Authority, through its Corporate Service Session, has completed the survey and presentation of deeds for several tribal certificates of land situated in the ArcelorMittal concession area in Nimba County.
The Corporate Service Section of the LLA is responsible to verify and survey government land, as well as tribal certificates, land mostly operated on by concession companies across Liberia.
The session also has oversight on private, customary, concessionary and public lands, and at the same time issues deeds for each category of land mentioned, when legally verified and surveyed.
Speaking to journalists at the climax of the program in Gbapa, Nimba County, the Assistant Director of the Corporate Service Session at the LLA, Benjamin Massaquoi said the exercise is intended to give tribal certificates holders’ exclusive rights over their land on which ArcelorMittal is operating.
The LLA Assistant for Corporate Service Session revealed that ArcelorMittal and the locals, at the beginning of the project signed an MOU, where the company agreed to under write the cost of the survey and in the future deduct sad amount from the communities involved as indicated in the MOU.
According to him, the LLA, through its Corporate Service Session surveyed 12 tribal certificates land out of 22 that was presented to his department.
Massaquoi used the occasion to call on other concession companies operating in Liberia to follow the same to add tribal certificates landowners to have legitimacy on their lands, stressing that most tribal landowners are unable to pay the survey feels for their lands on which concession companies operate.
Also speaking, ArcelorMittal foci person on the project, Hilton Gortor lauded the communities involved for the level of cooperation given during the exercise and plagued the company commitment to all agreement signed among the parties involved.
According to Gortor, with the climax of face one of the exercise, the company will now freely operate on grounds that lands on which it operates are now legitimately surveyed and deeded by the Liberian government.
For his part, the Zolowee land owner’s representative, Mr. Peter Dolo thanked the LLA and ArcelorMittal for the initiative, adding that this will now give locals complete ownership rights of their various land.
Meanwhile The Chairman of the Liberia Land Authority Attorney Adams Monabah has disclosed that the passage of the Land Rights Act by the Weah government was to ensure that tribal land owners have legitimate rights on their lands.
Speaking when he gave an overview of the LLA, Chairman Monabah assured citizens across Liberia that the top most priority of the LLA is to ensure that all tribal certificates land through the length and birth of Liberia are surveyed and deeded.
Chairman Monabah said with the conclusion of the exercise at the ArcelorMittal concession areas in Nimba, tribal land owners can now benefit from their land while the concession company benefits as well.
“With this agreement now signed between you and the company to have all your lands surveyed and deeded, you the land owners will now have exclusive ownership rights over your land and will now receive all legitimate benefits, while the concession company intern benefits”.
According to him Liberia is the only country in Africa, if not the world that gives such exclusive rights to tribal certificates and customary land owners, as such citizens across the country must take advantage of such opportunity.
The LLA Boss at the same time informed local land owners in Nimba County that his work at the Liberia Land Authority will be measured based on the number of deeds he will give to tribal and customary land owners, which will enable them boldly engage concession companies operating on their various lands.
“You will measure the level of work we do at the Liberia Land Authority based on the number of deeds we will give to you who are the legitimate owners of the lands in the rural areas of Liberia without conflict in order to have them protected and reserved for your unborn children”.
The Liberia Land Authority (LAA), was established in 2016 and has oversight responsibility of all land matters in the Country. The mandates of the Authority regarding lassnds’ oversight is reflected in the LLA Act specifically for four categories of land, which includes Government Land, Public Land, Private Land, and Customary Land.
In 2020, the LLA, under the LLAP project, hired a Consultant to development a five-year business plan. As part of its recommendations, the Consultant recommended the establishment of a Corporate Service Section by the LLA to contribute to economic growth and development of the Authority.