The North West regional Delegate of State Property and Land Tenure, Njock Joseph Ayuk has clarified public opinion amid claims form certain individuals that, they encounter challenges in the process of trying to acquire land certificates. Ayuk spoke Tasi Peter in Bamenda. Read on.
How is the delegation of state property and land tenure fairing during this period of crisis?
We are not exempted from the challenges every other person or institution faces. So we are facing the same problems with any other person working in the two English-Speaking regions of the country. We so far function in few subdivisions in the North West region. The Minister has suspended our activities for the meantime precisely in Bamenda I, II and III subdivisions and in Tubah.
Many people complain of the procedures to obtain a land certificate. How is the process done?
For the procedures, we have direct and indirect. Direct registration is done at the level of the region while indirect registration is done at the level of Yaounde. For me, I do not see anything wrong with the process, because the law is very clear so it is not cumbersome since it is something that it is claimed and when someone is claiming something, you have to give time for maybe some other people to contest. Normally we give 30 days for that to happen, after 30 days, the land consultative board has to visit the site of the claim whether it is true and if it is true, we move on with another 30 days for any other person to challenge after the land consultative board which is second land consultative board which is the one chaired by the Governor. So the procedure continues like that and when after publications we still give sometime again for any other challenge. So sometimes, people look at that time, they see it as if the procedure is long but of which it is not. The state has made it in such a way that a time lap is given for any person who has interest to acquire a state land. For indirect registration, normally we talk of allocation and with allocation we talk of grant, lease and transfer. In this process, land is not given free so with this procedure one must have a project to carry out on that piece of land because land is not given for someone to go and sell as concerns indirect registration. The land can be allocated to you and the procedure is what is called the right to start, the right to use which from that we move to right to own. So all these procedures are time consuming because the right to use is five years for you to develop, after five years, you come for right to own.
In all, the procedure is short but sometimes people can complicate the procedure maybe because along the line some persons are opposing and something that can be done for say two to four months takes up to five years. To note that, until a land is allocated you, you do not have a right to use. National land is not sold and national land is not given. The land belongs to all but the state does the allocations to make sure everyone has an equal share. The state too when it needs a state land, it applies and follows the same procedures, it is not like the state can just take because it is the state. if the state has a project then they follow the procedure to acquire the land and if not, then the state is not given the land so you see that everyone goes through the procedures to acquire a national land because it is not for a particular individual.
The people should come to us and not sit back to say the procedure is complicated or cumbersome, our doors are always open. Anybody of age let’s say from 18 and above can acquire a land certificate provided the person has the means to build on the land for the land is attributed for one to realize his/her project and the land is not given for one to keep.