“Gov’t Committed to Protecting Land Owners and Squatters,” Says Minister Tweah

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Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., has expressed the Government of Liberia’s commitment to ensure that land-owners and squatters have legal titles to their land. According to him,

Speaking at the official launch of the Digitization of Government Processes Systematic Land Titling project on Friday, January 15, 2021, at the Clara Town Football field on the Bushrod Island, the Minister said that the land issue is a critical challenge in Liberia and remains a major concern for the government.

The launch was organized by the Liberia Land Authority in collaboration with the Medici Land Governance (MLG) to demarcate and document land rights for up to one thousand (1,000) residential land parcels in or around the city of Monrovia.

In Liberia, lack of recorded land rights and transactions leave landowners and the public vulnerable to encroachment, invasion, and fraudulent sales. Without clear recognition of landowners’ greatest assets (available, accessible, affordable legal, and reliable property information), individuals are not empowered to improve their well-being and promote economic development.

“This pilot project will explore moving Liberia towards a digital and blockchain-strengthened economy, which is anticipated to strengthen revenue-generating capacities and reduce corruption in many areas.

“The government of Liberia is here to ensure you are protected legally to have your land. We are not here to take your land from you, nobody is taking your land” he added.

Government, he said, is bringing solutions to people who own land by recognizing and giving them legal titles to their properties.

However, he explained that the digitization of government processes and systematic land titling is a pilot project to digitize land registration for Liberians.

He challenged the Land Authority to use the project to begin the formal titling and deeding of properties owned by Liberians who are considered “squatters”.

He said the government should give titles to squatters and the pilot project can be a way of achieving that. 

“The Pilot is in the right direction, respecting the statutory mandates of the Land Authority,” said J. Adams Manobah, Sr. (Atty), Chairman of the Liberia Land Authority. “It complements the government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD); and is in alignment with the appreciative efforts of donors and implementing partners in the land sector, such as the World Bank, Sida, USAID, Tenure Facility, amongst others. The Board of Commissioners at the Liberia Land Authority is longing for a durable tangible result that the Liberia people will see, touch, feel, and live it all. The successful implementation of this Pilot will help improve our deliverable capacity, eliminate land conflicts and land corruption in the target area, provide the LLA with a clear pictorial view, authoritative property information that will help in valuing properties for many purposes, including real estate tax collection by the Liberia Revenue Authority, street address system, mortgage, settlement of court cases, etc. At the LLA we are looking at the bigger picture, while making sure there is no overlap or duplication of activities, and when all is settled – we want to see an available, accessible, and affordable well-functioning integrated user-friendly land information management system interacting with all stakeholders and users.”

Medici Land Governance was founded in 2018 to put the power of property ownership and equity into the hands of citizens by applying blockchain and other technologies to provide low-cost, easy-to-use land titling and administration systems.

MLG is a subsidiary of Medici Ventures, Overstock.com’s wholly-owned blockchain accelerator.

Medici Ventures’ mission is to introduce blockchain technology to existing markets to democratize capital, eliminate middlemen, and re-humanize commerce.

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