Transport and Mining Minister, Lester “Mike” Henry, has welcomed the 15 percent growth in the Bauxite/Mining Sector for the last quarter of last year, but is not happy with the rate at which Land Titles are being delivered to re-settled vendors.
According to Minister Henry, the positive impact of the resurgence of the Bauxite/Mining Industry on the economy is timely. He says, every indication so far, points to an even bigger percentage growth by the end of the second quarter this year. This is against the background that ALPART/JISCO shipped another Thirty (30) thousand tonnes of Alumina last week. A projected Fifty (50) thousand more tonnes will be shipped by the end of this month, following closely on the first shipment of Thirty Five (35) thousand tonnes on December 29, last year.
However, the Mining Minister is not happy with the rate at which Land Titles are being prepared and delivered to individuals, who have been re-settled by the mining companies. As at the end of last year there were in excess of 4,000 individual titles that are yet to be processed and finalized for delivery to new property owners.
This was revealed, as he met with representatives of the mining companies and other key stakeholders at the Four Seasons Hotel in Kingston over the weekend. Minister Henry says, while it is understandable that there are many legacy cases to contend with, it is unacceptable that rate at which these are being settled, does not fit into Government’s Agenda to empower people, by helping them to unlock the value of the lands they occupy.
He says a multi-sector approach is necessary to significantly reduce the backlog of cases this year. In this regard, he has pulled together, the National Land Agency, NEPA, LAMP, The Fire Services, NWA, NWC, the Municipal Corporations, National Solid Waste Management Authority, Water Resources Authority and the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation in a joined up approach to resolve the issues in the fastest possible time.
The Mining Minister says, while he will be doing everything in his power to improve the situation, prospective recipients of Titles, who have outstanding decisions to be made among siblings and other family beneficiaries, must do so in the shortest possible time to assist in the process. Minister Henry has established a target of over 500 Titles to be delivered by the mining companies this year. He is the Chairman of the Bauxite Lands Land Titling Committee, which meets on a quarterly basis