Ellen Submits “Liberia Land Authority” Bill

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President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf yesterday submitted to the Senate for enactment into law an Act to create the Liberia Land Authority.
In her letter to that august body dated September 15, President Sirleaf said the bill puts into place the necessary legal framework for the establishment of the Liberia Land Authority that would undertake actions and implement programs in support of land governance; including land administration and management.
“Mr. President Pro Tempore, in the midst of significant progress made by the Land Commission in proposing reforms of land policies and of land laws, fragmented government authority over land continue to cause difficulties, thus posing challenges to land reform implementations,” she wrote.
President Sirleaf informed the lawmakers that when passed into law, the bill will ensure that the state through the land authority controls and manages effectively, impartially and in the interest of equitable development access to deeds of public and government lands.
“Mr. President Pro Tempore, the bill is a significant milestone in the land governance process. At the creation of the Liberia Land Authority, the responsibility for land matters is to be removed from the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Public Works, the Center for National Documents and Records Agency, and other agencies of Government as appropriate and transferred to the Liberia Land Authority,” she noted.
President Sirleaf concluded by requesting the Senators to see the importance of the bill and asked for its timely enactment into law.
The letter was immediately turned over to the Senate Committees on Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment; Judiciary; and Internal Affairs and Governance and Reconciliation, with the mandate to go through the voluminous Act and report to plenary in two weeks.
The bill is among many others that have landed in the Chambers of the Senate, since President Sirleaf requested the Legislature to put a hold on their annual Agriculture Break for six more weeks, in order to help pass some important legislation.
It may be recalled that in September 2014, President Sirleaf signed into law the Act Against Criminal Conveyance of Land, as part of the Land Commission’s resolved commitment to institute realistic reforms in the land sector of Liberia.
As recently as August 10, 2015, the Senate conducted a public hearing on the proposed Land Rights Bill in the Chambers of the Senate, before the Senate Committees on Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment; Judiciary, Claims, Human Rights and Petitions.

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