NASSAU, Bahamas, Mar 11, CMC – The Bahamas government on Monday denied reports circulating on social media that it was engaged in a land-grab policy, insisting that “these reports are completely fictitious”.
“The government’s position on developing a modern land registry and improving access to Crown Land in The Bahamas is a matter of public record,” a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister reads.
Last weekend, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis met with residents of Andros and Eleuthera, providing an update on the Mid-Year Budget Statement and the recent 30th Inter-Sessional Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit held in Kitts and Nevis.
“Some of you have been leasing land for many years and have even built homes and businesses on the land. You were promised you would get the land, but nothing ever happened,” he told the residents, adding “we are prepared to give you free title to that land so you can take that to the bank and borrow money to expand your home or business”.
Minnis said that as part of its process to establish a modern land registry, his administration will commence a land investigation and audit to establish land that is owned or leased by the government.
He said that information in respect of Crown Lands, will be used in the determination of outstanding land applications, at the Department of Lands and Surveys.
Minnis said the government’s ambitious affordable housing programme will also provide additional land ownership opportunities for Family Island residents.
The government is reported to be in the process of developing subdivisions in New Providence and Family Islands, featuring lots – complete with infrastructure – for sale at less than US$30,000.
“We want you to have a home,” Minnis said.
In the statement denying any involvement in land grabbing, the government said: “The Office of the Prime Minister denounces the use of false information and the undue concerns such untruths can cause throughout the country.”