Title deeds to be issued in less than a week as Land ministry

28Nov 2017
The Guardian
Title deeds to be issued in less than a week as Land ministry
  • Title deeds to be issued in less than a week as Land ministry goes digital
  • Under the World Bank funded Integrated Land Management Information System (ILMIS)
  • the number of days taken for a mortgage transaction has been reduced from six to four days while record searching for land ownership has been reduced from seven to four days

THE private sector, including commercial banks, can now heave a sigh of relief as the Ministry of Land, Housing and Human Settlements Development targets to reduce the period of time taken to process title deeds from 24 months to six months.

The Minister for Land Housing and Human Settlement Development, William Lukuvi (pictured), said he wants the time to be reduced further to less than a week when a World Bank funded Integrated Land Management Information System (ILMIS) is up and running by next July.

 

Minister Lukuvi said after touring his ministry’s national land data centre in Dar es Salaam yesterday that a pilot project involving Kinondoni and Ubungo municipalities of Dar es Salaam is showing promising results only after a year of implementation.

 

“It only takes a month now to process a title deed but I have ordered that it should come down to a month and later within a week,” Lukuvi said after inspecting the data centre where technicians were busy entering information from files of the two municipals land owners.

 

“In future, when we are done with these manual files, every land owner or property owner shall have their information stored in our computer servers, no more piles of files but only desktops,” Lukuvi boasted saying commercial banks and property dealers will in future start accessing information pertaining to mortgage borrowers and property buyers in real time.

 

Currently under ILMIS, the number of days taken for a mortgage transaction has already been reduced from six to four days while record searching for land ownership has been reduced from seven to four days.

 

The Director of Information and Communication Technology at the ministry, Shaban Pazi, said the ILMIS project is based on streamlining land management system. Pazi said so far, thousands of title deeds have been digitised and the process is proceeding well.

 

“This system will help improve efficiency in land management, boost government revenue and end disputes associated with double allocation,” the Director noted saying that after the pilot project, the ILMIS project will be rolled out countrywide.

 

Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) Executive Director, Godfrey Simbeye, is happy with the ministry’s digitization process of the land and property tenure system which will go a long way in improving the investment climate in the country.

 

“Land acquisition for investment and property verification for banks to process loans are some of the things that we have been complaining about as affecting the business environment in the country,” Simbeye said.

 

He pointed out that digitising land management system under ILMIS will go a long way in improving the private sector’s efficiency in processing big projects involving land acquisition and property purchasing.

 

“We hope that banks and developers can now transact in real time when processing loans or buying property as they can easily access owners’ information online easily,” the TPSF Executive Director noted.

 

According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 report, Tanzania ranked 133rd out of 189 economies on the ease of registering property and obtaining land. Registering property in the country requires eight different procedures, takes 67 days and 4.4 per cent of property value.

 

“Such challenges will gradually be overcome by IGN FI’s ILMIS project,” said the Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Land, Dorothy Mwanyika. Mwanyika believes that if the project is rolled out countrywide in future, all land and property related issues will be centrally stored with no possibility of tampering with.

 

“This system will only be accessed by approved staff at district, regional and national levels, the company which is installing it will encrypt all information and data will be firewalled,” said Mwanyika when she addressed land and property officers from Ubungo and Kinondoni municipalities in Dar es Salaam.

 

In 2015, the Prime Minister’s Officer tender board awarded a French consortium of IGN FI/IGN/FIT Consei/Memoris led by IGN FI (The French National Institute of Geographical and Forestry Information) to implement a pilot initiative for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of ILMIS.

 

The close to 14bn/- project which the French conglomerate has been implementing since last year, is part of a World Bank private sector support additional funding to address the problem being faced by investors to using land and property as collateral in obtaining credit.

 

Commercial banks and National Housing Corporation have routinely complained that bureaucracy in obtaining title deeds and unit sub titles has been slowing down the process of mortgage lending while denying Treasury billions of shillings in revenue.

 

In  July  2016,  IGN  FI  was  awarded  the  project  funded by  the  World  Bank, to  design,  supply,  install  and commission the Integrated Land Management Information System (ILMIS) of Tanzania.

Since 2001, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development of Tanzania (MLHHSD) that   is   responsible   for   the   land   administration   sector,   has   been   incrementally   implementing computerized  systems  at  land  office,  land  zonal  offices  and  land  offices  in  the  Local  Government Authorities  (LGA)  to  facilitate  the  management  of  land  records.  Although this  computerization  clearly improved business  operations  within  the  Ministry,  the  citizens  are  still  facing  several  problems  among which  unreliable  information,  slow  and  complex  processes,  uncertainty  of  land  tenure  for  the  main issues.

Among many other objectives, the ILMIS pilot project which ends in 2018 also seeks to: support efficient administration of cadastre and real property registration at central, zonal and district levels. The conversion and indexing of data and migration into the ILMIS database; the purchase, deployment and installation of hardware and equipment; capacity building, training and knowledge transfer to ILMIS users and administrators and perform system maintenance, support, enhancement and warranty of the ILMIS, are also its objectives.

IGN FI has already completed several land administration projects in Ivory Coast, Vietnam and Uganda, the company said in a statement.

“The first phase consisting the design, supply and installation of a land information system was completed on a pilot area of 17,362 km² between 2010 and 2014. During  that  phase, more  than  500, 000  land  titles  and  land  documentation  and  16,500 maps  have  been rehabilitated, digitalized and integrated in the land information system and more than 300 people have been trained,” the consortium stated.

In  2015,  IGN  FI  was  awarded  by  the  World  Bank  to  achieve  the  roll-out  phase  and  implement  the computerized solution in the whole country hence Uganda’s ILMIS will be fully operational by 2018.