… as project slated to conclude in October of 2018
The Parliamentary Opposition on Wednesday criticized Government for the slow progress it has made with respect to the almost five years Amerindian Land Titling Project, with the Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs Sydney Allicock confirming that only 26 per cent of the work was complete, even though the project is slated to conclude in October of 2018.
According to People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Member of Parliament, Pauline Sukhai, the slothful development of the initiative which has usurped a lump sum of money thus far, is “shameful.”
As such, she expressed hope that “the Ministry, who is a partner to all the other units and commissions that have been working in support of processing and granting land and demarcating lands to indigenous people gets on board and be more efficient.”
During the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee meeting on Natural Resources on Wednesday, Minister Allicock revealed that only 26 per cent of the project has been completed.
“That would represent the 45 investigations that were done. The investigations completed for these communities that would now have to be demarcated,” he said.
Moreover, the Minister said that while the project was slated to be completed this year, the work programme will require an additional decade before the work can be finalized.
As such, he said “we are in discussion and we’re hoping that we can have another extension. We’d have to come up with some justifying facts to seek an extension.”
Allicock also explained that thus far, only about 25 per cent of the total US$10M earmarked for the project has been utilized, while highlighting that the initiative has been facing severe challenges with regards to manpower.
A total of US$7.4 million is still left on the project which commenced in 2013- under the PPP led Administration.
Some four communities or villages are earmarked to be completed by the October of 2018.
The Opposition maintains that the land titling process is now at a standstill, but the Minister said he begs to differ as the work requires time.
Under the Allicock’s tenure as Minister however, not a single Amerindian village has received a title as yet.