Inadequate land laws to record and acquire land for development have been the cause of delay to the development of oil palm in Aluta and East Fataleka lands.

This explanation was provided by the Permanent Secretary special projects, Francis Lomo, in a press conference held with the local media.

The PS told the media that the Land Recording Act of 1994 is inadequate to provide a proper legal cover to acquire land in Auluta. Although the recording done by Alex Rukia is said to be done under the Act, the Act failed to go further than that.

"We are engaging a private lawyer to draft a subsidiary regulation, which has already being gazetted. The delay in moving the project forward is related to this piece of legislation."

However, Mr. Lomo said while waiting for the subsidiary regulation to be gazetted, the ministry went ahead to acquire the land using the acquisition provision provided under the Land and Titles Act of 1969.

He said landowners should not worry about the government using this provision because, once the national government acquires the land, it will then immediately transfer the Perpetual Estate Title back to the landowners. This is the first of its kind.

The arrangement is that the landowners will engage in a leasing agreement with the government. Landowners will lease their land to the government; the government will then sublease the land to the developer.

According to Mr. Lomo, the arrangement is not catered for under the current legislation. That is why the subsidiary is important to provide protection for any action the government and the landowners may come up with.