One of the working groups in session (pic: By J.G. Cephas)

By Jos Garneo Cephas

Public and private sector institutions in Liberia have agreed to establish a standardized and self-regulatory system for land and property valuation in land governance.

The idea to have a self-regulatory regime for setting standards evolved out of proposals from representatives of participating institutions at a two-day Land and Property Assessment Dialogue organized by the Liberia Land Authority (LLA) with support from the USAID-Land Governance Support Activity in Liberia.

The dialogue took place last week at a resort in Monrovia.

Several speakers pointed out the problems and challenges the land governance and administration have been faced with over the years.

Henry Demawu, Public Works Ministry’s chief architect, called for a data system to avoid overlapping of functions by government agencies.

Mr. Demawu noted that failure to carry out early planning has reduced Monrovia and other major cities in Liberia to slums. This is challenging and is causing limitations for us to monitor problems related to zoning in the country although we have two architects at the Ministry of Public Works, he said.

The Liberia Institute of Architects and Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) also called for the establishment of a code of ethics and collaboration between appraisers and property owners to enhance the standards in order to promote fair play.

Ms. Ellen Pratt, Commissioner for Land Use and Management of the LLA, lauded the private-public sector initiative and pledged government’s support in forming a new self-regulatory group and the realization of their objectives.

Ms. Pratt said, “I’m happy for and on behalf of our partner, USAID-LGSA and the Liberia Land Authority, and we want to encourage you to make the best out of the knowledge we all have shared. As from today you have an active role to play in the land reform process of Liberia.”

The President of Caesar Architects, Inc., Augustus Caesar, was chosen as coordinator of a ten member ad-hoc technical working group leading to the adoption of the future organization’s name, work plan and incorporation.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Mr. Caesar thanked the Liberia Land Authority for organizing such an important dialogue aimed at discussing challenges and problems regarding land governance and called on his colleagues to collaborate for their goals to be realized.

Participating in the dialogue were the Liberia Institute of Architects, Association of Professional Land Surveyors of Liberia, the Liberia Bankers Association and representatives of several government ministries and agencies.

Organization representatives who participated in the dialogue (Pic: J. G. Cephas)

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