Solomon Islands Public Able To Bid On State Land Soon

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Acting commissioner says new policy will reduce corruption

By Daniel Namosuaia

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 5, 2013) – The Ministry of Lands and Housing has begun the process of tendering crown land to the Solomon Islands public.

This process was part of the Government’s policy to ensure fair distribution and allocation of land for Solomon Islanders as well as ensuring that these lands are secured.

Acting commissioner of land Nester Maelanga said her office is currently working on this process and the public is expecting the first lot of land to be tendered soon.

"This is a policy of the NCRA government that we want to implement to ensure land allocation is fairly distributed, make these lands secured for people and to improve government revenue from these lands," Mrs Maelanga said.

She added that since 1994, the practice of individuals applying for land has given rise to corrupt practices and unfair distribution of land, leaving many Solomon Islanders landless.

The acting commissioner stressed that implementing this new policy will also reduce corrupt practices that has gone on for the last 20 years.

Mrs Maelanga added that this system of acquiring land stopped after past governments failed to allocate grant funds for this process.

She said now that the government has allocated funds for this tendering process, the ministry will start implementing the tender process.

The tender process will grant successful applicants a 50 year fixed term estate.

The Solomon Star understands the first lot of land within Kaibia for residential purposes will be advertised soon.

All the sites are intended for the construction of single dwelling units of design, siting and structure approved in writing by the commissioner of lands

Meanwhile, the acting commissioner said interested applicants are advised that tendering is only for the annual rental for each lot and the premium and other fees are fixed.

She explained for instance Lot 726 Section 1 the minimum rent is SBD$221.70 [US$30.20] and tenderers can bid to say SBD$500 [US$68.10] or SBD$700 [US$95.34] depending on affordability.

Meanwhile, occupants of TOL (temporary occupancy licence) land within Kaibia are asked to visit the Commissioner of Lands Office to update their information.

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