The government wants to fast track the establishment of a national land bank to ease access of land for investors two years since the committee to carry out the exercises was set up.
Lands Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri said the process has been marked urgent in order to expedite public/private development pacts that require the government to avail ready land.
“One of the major challenges that we have been experiencing in securing and honouring such pacts is lack of authenticated records of available public lands. We have not been monitoring developments in most of our public lands and we only come to realize it was either grabbed or booked for other projects the moment we start the process of issuing it out,” he said.
One of the ministry’s main focus right now is to make possible the provision of affordable housing to Kenyans under the Big Four housing agenda. To achieve this, the ministry uses various mechanisms including infrastructure provision, issuance of title deeds and providing incentives for private developers to participate in the programme.
The exercise will be seeking to annex excess land owned by public institutions into a centralized land data bank for easy access. He said the ministry was working with the National Land Commission to achieve this objective
The government’s quest to establish a land bank has been ongoing since January 2018 when former Lands CS Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi set up the committee to oversee the exercise.
Land banks are government corporations authorized to take control of and reuse vacant and abandoned parcels. They are often chartered to have powers that allow them to accomplish these goals in ways that existing government agencies cannot.
PS Muraguri said land banks will support all pillars of the government’s Big Four Agenda including housing.