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Saturday 23 June 2018
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AG: Land-title reform in Tobago

TOBAGO will be the starting point for a new system of land title registration to clear years of chaos, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said in the House of Representatives on Friday. He spoke on the Registration of Titles to Land (Amendment) Bill 2018.

The AG said the scenario with land titles in Tobago was an “absolute disaster”, with deeds being lodged in safe places such as churches and many residents relying on anecdote and memory to establish ownership. “The Government will bring relief. It starts in Tobago.”

The AG lamented the crash of the computerised system at the Land Registry, and blamed a failure of the former government to upgrade software that was 13 years out of date and renew an expired software licence.

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal said the Land Registry system had collapsed under the Government, who must now resort to doing manual searches.

“This is a state of emergency, chaos. There is no sign on the horizon when this matter will be resolved.” He scoffed that while the AG had just touted that land-title reform will boost the ease of doing business, in fact business has now shut down. Moonilal then queried why the bill amends the law to let only attorneys do land-title searches but not ordinary citizens. He also lamented that Tobagonians who wish to come to Trinidad to do land-title searches cannot even travel due to a collapsed sea-bridge and air-bridge.

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