Lands Minister supports decentralisation of Land Board functions

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The decentralisation of Lands and Physical Planning Board down to the provinces in the country is a way to go for land development.
This is so that each province can have their own land and physical planning board to plan how they can use their land without waiting for approvals from the National Land Board in so far as allocation and granting of land title is concern.
Lands Minister, Benny Allan who recently returned from a successful swearing in ceremony of the new West Sepik Provincial Land Board, said this is in line with the government’s policy on decentralization of powers.
“The Board will complement the government’s policy in terms of helping provinces make decision on land applications and also to assist them in planning their town and districts.
“With the O’Neill-Dion government’s decentralization of powers down to the provincial level and more money being pumped into provinces, it is obvious that there would be expansion in our provinces and that needs better planning when it comes to land development.
“And the decentralization of Lands and Physical Planning Board in our provinces and districts is so that it caters for the expansion in so far as land development is concern,” Mr Allan said.
Minister Allan said while he supports such initiative, he also cautioned all Provincial Land Boards to be transparent and carry out their jobs without prejudice.
He said a long term plan is need to develop the towns and cities in the country and has appealed to governors, provincial administrators and town mayors to be wary of this when developing land and other investment opportunities.
“We must have a long term plan of our towns and cities. It’s important that provinces and districts have long term plan as to how they can develop their province and districts. If plans are not available, development will be on adhoc basis.
The minister said so far provinces that have existing Provincial Lands Board include East and West New Britain, Milne Bay, Morobe, New Ireland, NCD and the recently established West Sepik Land Board. Those that will follow suit include Madang, East Sepik, Manus and Western Highlands province.
He commended the provinces for taking on the responsibility and ownership of the government policy and asked others to do likewise.        

Hon. Benny Allan, MP
Lands & Physical Planning Minister