Uganda’s Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development together with IGN FI, and supported by the World Bank, have organized a two-day international conference on ‘Implementation of the National Land Information System: Sharing Experiences, Innovations and Good Practices.’
According to Uganda’s Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Betty Olive Namisango Kamya, this is the second time Uganda was hosting such an International Conference on Land Information System in partnership with the World Bank to share experiences and showcase successes of Land Information System implementation in Uganda.
The first time Uganda held a Conference of this nature was in February 2013, when the Ministry had commenced computerization of the Land Registry.
“Government with support from the World Bank under the Competitiveness and Enterprise Development Project (CEDP) has been implementing the National Land Information System (LIS).
“The National Land Information System has been installed and is operational in 22 Ministry Zonal Offices of Wakiso-(Busiro and Kyadondo), Mukono, Masaka, Kampala (KCCA), Masindi, Kibaale, Kabarole, Mbarara, Arua, Gulu, Lira, Mbale and Jinja, Mpigi, Luwero, Mityana, Kabale, Rukungiri, Tororo, Moroto and Soroti,” said Kamya.
Kamya said the objective of establishing Ministry Zonal Offices and development of the Land Information System was to bring the Ministry’s services closer to people who were formerly bearing all inconveniences and indirect costs of travelling frequently to the ministry headquarters in Kampala to access the services.
She said the NLIS was also established to digitally store and archive land Information for easy and timely access of information by both the service provider and the public for quick decision making.
“The other reasons for developing such a system were to detect and eliminate any possibilities of fraudulent practices in the land transaction process such as double titling, overlapping surveys among others.
“To improve the internal efficiency of Land Administration operations, provision of prompt, efficient, reliable and wide range of land services to clients, to efficiently and effectively disseminate land information to the public, to capture all the land tenure systems in the Land Information System, to increase revenue generation by the Land Sector and to provide more time for land administrators and managers to offer specialized consultation, sensitization and technical guidance both to clients and Land Management Institutions,” said Kamya at Protea Hotel in Entebbe during the official launch and roll-out of the system.
Dorcus Okalany the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Land Housing and Urban Development said approximately UGX 710,414,507,637 has been generated from land-related transactions since its launch in February 2013 to June 2019. This revenue includes both the Taxable revenue and Non-taxable revenue.
She said the cumulative generation of this money, in revenue near completion of the project, represents an enormous 269% return on the US$72 million investment provided as a World Bank loan.
Okalany added that other benefits include reduced cost of doing business as a result of quick retrieval of information and speedy land transactions, the reduced turnaround time for producing land title from 52 days to 10 days and reduced land transaction malpractices such as forgery and fraud.
“Elimination of unprocessed land registration transactions, since the LIS is premised on the principle of first in first out, safe storage of records and space-saving, which has led to better security of records by reducing possibilities of manipulation and elimination of manual system and problems associated to it, thus leading to efficiency and effectiveness in land transactions which is essential for economic competitiveness all has been realized,” said Okalany.
She said improved surveys and mapping which has eliminated overlapping surveys and double plotting, reduced land litigation cases as a result of improved security of land ownership and availability and quick retrieval of various land-related statistical data and reports on the types of land, area and ownership as and when required have all been achieved.
Okalany said the restoration of trust and confidence in the land registration system and establishment of two portals; one public portal for the general public and the other is a corporate portal for financial institutions, professionals i.e. Lawyers and Surveyors among others have all been achieved.
“These portals will be operational by end of April 2020 and both the public and professionals will be able to access land-related information online,” she said.
The conference attracted experts from the World Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the World, who made presentations on land issues in their respective countries, shared experiences on land administration and implementation of Land Information System initiatives.
Countries including Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Senegal, Madagascar, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago and Ethiopia were all represented at the conference.
The Theme of the Conference was “Global Modernization of Land Administration: Making your Land Information System a Success”.
The conference came at a time when the Government of Uganda had introduced a new National Land Information System (NLIS) with support from the IGN FI/IGN Consortium.
The Design, Supply, Installation and Implementation of the NLIS Infrastructure (DeSINLISI) fully integrates land administration, registration, valuation, surveying and physical planning.
It is a computerized system that has decentralized governance with 22 one-stop Ministry Zonal Offices (MZOs) now operational across Uganda.
BY PAUL TENTENA