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Land Authority faces challenge over squatter right

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The Chairman of the Board of Commissioners at the Liberia Land Authority (LLA) Atty. J. Adams Monobah says squatter rights and the court system, among others, are huge challenges that continue to impede the working of the entity. Atty. Monobah revealed Thursday, 3 June during the Ministry of Information’s regular press briefing, that the numerous challenges confronting the LLA range from the court system, surveyors, and illegal land sellers, including those squatting on public lands.

“Look, there are dozens of challenges confronting the LLA, but few among others, are squatter rights, our court system, professionalism, limited resources [and] surveyor,” Atty. Monobah said.

Atty. Monobah indicated that when someone gives you a squatter right, it means you should stay for a very short period. But according to him, here in Liberia, squatter right is a different story, noting that people who know themselves to be squatter will build big houses and this puts LLA in a very tough position.

He also complained further that two institutions are still issuing documents for land in this country, which he named as LLA and the Center for National Documents, Records and Archives (CNDRA), noting that this poses another challenge for LAA.

He said his administration at LAA inherited archaic knowledge which he said, still remains a challenge at the institution, thus emphasizing the need for people there to be trained despite the many competing issues the government has.

According to him, the government will continue to engage its partners, as he expressed gratitude to the World Bank for providing training for 20 staff who are currently undergoing Forestry Institute Training in Tubmanburg, Bomi County.

“We are also carrying on training at Blue Crest University to ensure that we have licensed surveyors across this country because when you assume responsibility and don’t have the knowledge, it poses another threat,” Atty. Monobah added.

He explained that land governance is a process, and he is sure that Liberia will make progress in that light, adding that given the positive steps taken along with the technicians who are qualified, the country can achieve its goals.

“While I’m at Land Authority, I want to ensure, in collaboration with the Local Government Act, at the end of this year we should have effective, efficient and well coordinated counties land offices,” he said.

LLA’s primary mandate is to develop policies on a continuous basis, take actions and implement programs in support of land governance, including land administration and management.The land governance functions of the authority are to control and manage effectively, impartially, and in the interest of equitable development, access to and use of public land and government land, except reserved, protected areas, proposed protected areas, and diplomatic missions, as of the Effective Date of the LLA Act of 2016.

According to Atty. Monobah, to really handle land rights issues here requires cadastral mapping, noting that there is a company that is doing pro- bono work for the government where they intend to investigate every plot of land particularly around the Doe Community end.

By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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