Central Bank Governor Prof Emmanuel Mutebile has hailed the Buganda Land Board (BLB), landholders and Centenary Bank for formation of Lease Access Financing Initiative.
The Governor was speaking at the prayer breakfast at Serena hotel on Wednesday morning where he was the chief guest.
He said the meeting would enable the BLB the Buganda landowners (or bibanja) holders and financial institutions to interact and discuss how to enhance their partnership which has developed since 2010 when the Lease Access Financing Initiative was launched.
“I would like to commend the Buganda Land Board for the initiative which it took to assess the land holders’ financing needs in the acquisition of land titles and for then taking the necessary steps to address these needs by linking up with Centenary Bank and other stakeholders,” he emphasized.
Prof Mutebile noted that the combined efforts of the BLB, the land holders and Centenary Bank led to the formation of the Lease Access Financing Initiative in 2010. He added that outcomes of this tripartite arrangement can have positive and far-reaching effects on the security of land tenure; access to and use of financial services; private sector investment; and socio-economic growth and development, if it is managed well.
“Today, the three initiative boasts of a portfolio of over UGX2 billion accrued as land premiums and other land registration fees, a total of 331 land titles and a partnership that has attracted eight other lending financial institutions,” he revealed.
He further said the onus is on each of the stakeholders involved to make the Lease Access Financing Initiative a success.
However, the Governor said that despite the progress achieved, the initiative faces some challenges, noting that forged collateral has hindered land holders’ access to financial services and their acquisition of land titles.
“Financial institutions have incurred losses when loans secured against poor quality collateral have not been repaid on time. I am happy to note that the Buganda Land Board, in conjunction with the land holders and the lending financial institutions, is taking steps to address these challenges,“ said Mutebile.
He further revealed that there are two points relevant to the smooth functioning of the Lease Access Financing and other Initiatives.
He said the first is the massive land registration that the Buganda Land Board undertook between June and October 2015 whereby all the Kabaka’s tenants are required to acquire Certificates of Registration as official documentation and proof of ownership of their bibanja.
“I would like to commend the Buganda Land Board for initiating the process of establishing a land registration system, which will not only provide tenure security to the bibanja owners and enable them to pledge their land rights as security for a loan, but will also ease searches of land titles,” he said.
Mutebile also advised that in order to make the Certificate of Registration and the Land Title credible and to provide reliable documents those financial institutions can accept as collateral for loans, all necessary steps must be taken to minimize disputes and litigation over land, and prevent forgeries, duplications and other land grievances.
He emphasized that education about land registration should be undertaken to facilitate and support understanding of the system. Qualified and skilled survey and registry staff must be available for the day to day maintenance of the land register; and the five boundaries of the bibanja should be clearly recognizable and definable to minimize disputes, he added.
The Governor also noted that since April 2015, financial institutions supervised by the Bank of Uganda are required to provide a Key Facts Document to consumers.
He advised that the supervised financial institutions should avail the Key Facts Document on the Lease Access on Financing Initiative, on request, in the following languages: English, Ateso, Luganda, Lugbara, Luo, Runyankore/Rukiga, Runyoro/Rutoro, and Swahili.