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Economy

NLC budget cut jolts school title deeds issuance

Abigael Mbagaya
Outgoing NLC vice chairperson Abigael Mbagaya. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The National Land Commission (NLC) has warned that issuance of title deeds to public schools will be hampered following budget cuts in the next financial year.

The Treasury has allocated the commission Sh1.2 billion in the 2019/2010 financial year against a budget request of Sh2.5 billion.

The NLC told Parliament on Tuesday the funding cut would make it hard to implement President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive that the Ministry of Land issue title deeds to all schools.

“The comprehensive school and other public institutions land titling activities will be hampered greatly despite it being a presidential directive,” outgoing NLC vice chairperson Abigael Mbagaya told the National Assembly Lands Committee on Tuesday.

Mr Kenyatta’s directive was issued in the wake of wanton grabbing of public schools’ land.

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The NLC said the budget shortfall means that it will not be able to hire lawyers, surveyors and valuers who are key in vesting of land.

Ms Mbagaya explained that vesting of land was necessary as it ensures the plots will not be grabbed again in future.

Currently, the NLC has 450 employees compared to the 11,060 it requires to effectively fulfil its mandate.

The government recently set up multi-agency team to hasten the processing of title deeds for public schools. This followed revelations that only 2,070 out of 27,000 institutions have acquired the documents.

Lack of title deeds has exposed public institutions to greedy individuals including high ranking politicians, government officials and unscrupulous lawyers.

Ms Mbagaya said the NLC had collected all the data on public land and with budget support, the commission would be able to digitise it.

The tenure of the current NLC commissioners ended on Tuesday. They have been in office for the last six years.

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