…says lack of policy creating numerous challengesWork is ongoing at the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC) for the agency to develop a database of available land as well as a National Land Policy, all of which will make information on land more accessible to the public.The Guyana Lands and Surveys CommissionThis was announced by GL&SC Chief Executive Officer Trevor Benn during the agency’s end-of-year press conference. According to Benn, the database is being developed for Regions 2, 3, 4 and part of Region 7.“This work involves geo-referencing of the cadastral plans in order to show which areas have been surveyed and consequently which areas have not been and are vacant. A public vetting of the data for the Kuru Kururu residential area was conducted recently in order to verify the data in the Land Management System at the Commission”.“A well-functioning land information system would enable the Government to generate land-related statistics, make data-driven development decisions, and generally increase the efficiency in land management,” Benn also noted.When it comes to a National Land Policy and the legislative framework to support it, Benn noted that work is ongoing in this regard. According to him, the Commission’s Land Information and Mapping Division has held several rounds of consultations.Benn explained that from these consultations, the Commission received input from experts concerning the finalisation of the draft national policy. Once in place, he said, the policy will allow users to access the national database to research.“Currently, consultations with key stakeholders are taking place. Regional and national consultations will also be undertaken before the process wraps up. The policy will emerge out of an inclusive and highly-consultative process”.Benn explained that the lack of a national land policy has created challenges in tenure security and efficiency for many Guyanese. He noted that this situation has caused confusion about the responsibilities in land administration and management, and overlapping mandates.“The land policy will describe the national vision for the land sector, define Government and citizens’ rights and responsibilities and set priorities, as well as set out the legal basis for agencies of the land sector”.Previously, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) had called for the implementation of a land use policy, in the wake of the controversial allocation of land in Wales to two companies.Earlier this year, GL&SC was involved in a scandal after Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo called on President David Granger to answer to a massive distribution of prime State lands to certain employees of the Ministry of the Presidency, as well as to cronies in the PNC-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) fraction of the coalition government and officials of the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA), which were supposed to recover State assets.Only recently, Extra Virgin Coconut Products (EVCP) and Amazonia Expert Services Incorporated (AESI) were the two companies who recently received 680 acres of land in Wales. The land, part of the now-closed Wales Sugar Estate, was leased to the partners for them to enter the coconut industry. According to Principal at AESI, Dr Arlington Chesney, the company wants the land to process coconut water, as well as dried and grated coconut for the Dominican market. However, one of the companies was only recently formed.Back in 2017, Government had announced plans to close the Enmore and Rose Hall Sugar Estates, sell the Skeldon Sugar Factory, reduce the annual production of sugar, and take on the responsibility of managing the drainage and irrigation services offered by GuySuCo.Subsequently, in November of that year, GuySuCo announced plans to retrench 2500 workers by the end of that year. Amid much criticism, over 7000 were retrenched, with some having to fight for the severance they were legally entitled to.Government then established the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) under the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) to take over the divestment of GuySuCo’s assets that were earmarked for sale.The SPU then recruited PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct a valuation of the assets to be privatised and divested. It is understood, however, that with the Government in a caretaker status after losing a No-Confidence Motion last year, that process has been suspended.With Wales’ estate also being closed, and some workers being given the option of transferring to Uitvlugt, there has been much interest in the land left behind, particularly for farmers. In fact, earlier this year, land from the Wales Sugar Estate was snapped up by local and overseas farmers and over a thousand acres of that land was put under rice cultivation.
0Shares0000Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi headed the equaliser at Chelsea© AFP Daniel LEAL-OLIVASLONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 18 -Frank Lampard is still waiting for his first win as Chelsea manager after Wilfred Ndidi gave Leicester a 1-1 draw to spoil the Blues legend’s homecoming on Sunday.Thrashed 4-0 at Manchester United last weekend and beaten on penalties by Liverpool in the European Super Cup on Wednesday, Lampard’s side took an early lead through Mason Mount’s first goal for Chelsea. But Ndidi atoned for the costly mistake that led to Mount’s opener as the Nigeria midfielder headed Leicester’s well deserved second half equaliser.Lampard had been given a thunderous reception in his first game as Chelsea manager at Stamford Bridge.Yet the mood was far gloomier by the final whistle after a spluttering display raised the spectre of a potentially difficult season for the returning hero.Lampard, Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer, managed to avoid being the first Blues boss to lose his first two Premier League games in charge since Gianluca Vialli 21 years ago.But on this evidence there is a lot of work for the 41-year-old to do if he is to emulate his 13-year playing spell at Chelsea, which included three Premier League titles and the club’s first Champions League crown.Greeted by a huge flag with the message ‘Frank Lampard’s blue and white army’ and another reading ‘Welcome home Super Frank’, the former England midfielder emerged from the tunnel to cheers and turned to applaud the crowd as they chanted ‘Super Frankie Lampard’.With his former Chelsea team-mate John Terry in the stands to support his old friend, the Blues nearly gave Lampard a dream start in the first minute when Olivier Giroud chested Cesar Azpilicueta’s pass to Pedro and the Spaniard volleyed into the side-netting.Moments later, Mount threatened when he burst through, but the youngster shot too close to Kasper Schmeichel, who did well to block Christian Pulisic’s attempt from the rebound.Mount, a tenacious attacking midfielder in Lampard’s mold, didn’t need to rue that miss for long.The 20-year-old, who impressed while playing for Lampard on loan at second tier Derby last season, opened his Chelsea account in the seventh minute, with a helping hand from Ndidi.– Clinical finish –When Caglar Soyuncu rolled a pass to Ndidi, he dithered on the ball too long and Mount alertly pressured him into conceding possession before sliding a clinical finish past Schmeichel.It was just reward for a blistering start from Chelsea and Lampard celebrated by punching the air in delight.Mount should have doubled Chelsea’s lead when he headed straight at Schmeichel from Pedro’s cross before N’Golo Kante shot wide from Giroud’s flick.But Chelsea couldn’t keep up that ferocious pace and their dip gave Leicester a lifeline they should have taken when James Maddison miscued his pass after dancing around Blues keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga early in the second half.Giroud had started up front instead of Tammy Abraham, who suffered racial abuse on social media after he missed the decisive penalty in that Super Cup loss in Istanbul.But Lampard responded to Chelsea’s loss of control and Giroud’s lack of impact by introducing Abraham on the hour, the young striker greeted warmly by Blues fans after the midweek taunts.It wasn’t enough to swing the momentum back in Chelsea’s favour and Leicester’s dominance was rewarded in the 67th minute.When Maddison swung over a corner, Ndidi rose above Azpilicueta to plant a powerful header past Kepa.Pulisic had made an underwhelming home debut and the former Borussia Dortmund winger was next to be hauled off by Lampard.Maddison wasted a golden chance when he blasted over from close-range, while Jamie Vardy was just off target after breaching Chelsea’s creaky defence with ease.Chelsea were clinging on and it took a fine save from Kepa to deny Youri Tielemans in the final minutes.0Shares0000(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today) read more