ACHIEVEMENTS

NLC says it acquired land worth Sh38bn for 77 public projects

A total of 15,513 complaints were received; out of this, 5,773 were investigated/reviewed, with 4,088 determined and gazetted

In Summary

• Commission says it processed over 60,000 requests; dispatched 3,020 transfers of public school land to relevant registries from an audit of over 10,000 public schools.

• It says it conducted investigations across the country to determine the legality of those grants and dispositions.

Acting NLC chief executive Kabale Tache Arero
Acting NLC chief executive Kabale Tache Arero
Image: COURTESY

The National Land Commission has cited the acquisition of land worth Sh38.273 billion for 77 public purpose projects as an achievement in its 2013-18 strategic plan.

The NLC, under the review of grants and disposition of titles, says it conducted investigations across the country to determine the legality of those grants and dispositions.

"A total of 15,513 complaints were received; out of this, 5,773 were investigated/reviewed, with 4,088 determined and gazetted," it says.

The commission says a total of 693 historical land injustices claims were received, out of which 126 were admitted, investigated and determinations issued.

On the allocation of public land, it says it processed over 6,000 requests from counties for un-alienated public land.

The NLC is established to, among other things, manage and administer public land on behalf of the national and county governments, initiate investigations into present or historical land injustices and recommend appropriate redress, and monitor and have oversight responsibilities over land use planning.

It was operationalised by the National Land Commission Act of 2012. The first commissioners were appointed in 2013 and embarked on setting up the institutional structure by establishing the infrastructure; creation of requisite directorates and departments; recruitment and deployment of staff at its headquarters and the counties.

The commission developed and implemented the first strategic plan for the period 2013-2018 to guide its operations. The plan emphasised administration and management of public land, National Land Information Management System, land disputes and conflicts resolution, sustainable management and use of natural resources and institutional strengthening.

The commission says it established a functional GIS lab to support Public Land Inventory and Public Land Information System. It adds that it gazetted National Land Information Management System standards and guidelines in 2016.

The commission says it resolved various disputes through alternative mechanisms, a cost effective and quick way. It prepared 1,624 extensions and renewal of leases; approved 3,290 subdivision/ amalgamation schemes, 1,925 change/extension of user and 2,566 building plans.

"We processed over 60,000 requests; dispatched 3,020 transfers of public school land to relevant registries for registration from an audit of over 10,000 public schools," NLC says.

The commission says it received 3,865 letters of allotment, out of which 382 were verified. It says it handled over 4,000 cases that were filed in different courts country wide.

It further reviewed and validated 10 county spatial plans and provided advisory on the National Land Policy 2009. We developed and disseminated Land Use Planning Monitoring and oversight guidelines," NLC says adding  that it commenced the development of the country natural resources inventory and databases.

The commission completed 13 research initiatives on land and use of natural resources. To strengthen the institution, it automated internal processes, recruited staff; and established County offices.

The NLC says it developed internal policies, processes and procedures to support its operation and conducted public awareness and advocacy campaigns on land matters in the country. 

Among the challenges the commission cited are financial and budgetary constraints and the end of the five-year time frame for review of grants and disposition of titles to public land in line with section 14 of the NLC Act.

The NLC cites failure to vest land acquired for public purpose, rendering such land to be at risk of illegal occupation, use and reclaiming or repossession as the other challenge.

Others include difficulties in accessing land records from the parent Ministry of Lands and lack of clarity on functions of the Commission and ministry. Frequent amendments to land laws is also cited by the commission as a challenge.

The commission is in the process of engaging key stakeholders with a view refining its 2020-2025 strategic plan. NLC has 447 employees of various cadres against an approved establishment of 1,021.

The commission is, therefore, operating below 50 per cent of its staff establishment.

In the allocation of 2019-20, the gross estimate (recurrent and development expenditure) stood at Sh1.233 billion. This constitutes approximately 36 per cent of NLC's budgetary estimates.

The commission continues to receive inadequate budgetary allocations despite the critical role it plays in facilitating the national development agenda. Its average absorption rate has been maintained at 95per cent over the last six years.

NLC says its financial requirements for the planning period are expected to grow marginally over the first three years from Sh3.448 Billion to Sh5.132 Billion and reduce to Sh3.594 billion by last year.

Under the 2020-25 strategic plan, NLC says it will regularly monitor and evaluate its implementation to address challenges and any potential deviations.

The commission says it will embrace communication, consultation, collaboration, and cooperation both internally and externally in the operations of the Commission as well as rationalise programmes and prioritise them within the budget.

It will also heighten resource mobilisation both from the Exchequer and outside the government’s domain to address budgetary deficits and aggressively work on building positive institutional image, stakeholder confidence, partnership and trust.