By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The Deputy Prime Minister yesterday described the Quieting Titles Act as "inherently unfair " and in urgent need of reform.
K Peter Turnquest, who was addressing the Bahamas Association of Land Surveyors' seminar, said the current system of land ownership and registration must change as it "retards" the ability of Bahamians to create wealth and realise economic opportunity.
Promising that the Minnis administration is committed to land reform in a "holistic way", Mr Turnquest said: "This includes improvements to the way land is recorded and title rights passed, to land adjudication programmes to settle the vexing issues of generation and Crown Land grants. Additionally we must address this outdated law on quieting of land, which is inherently unfair."
Developers and members of the real estate community have frequently urged the Government to reform the Quieting Titles Act to curb widespread land fraud/theft. The London-based Privy Council, this nation's highest court of appea,l has expressed concerns that the Bahamas' Quieting Titles Act can be used to steal land, saying it was "no accident" that it has heard numerous title disputes from this nation.
"As we modernise our financial management as a country and move to accrual-based accounting, it will become more apparent for us to know the assets owned by the state, a large part of which is public buildings and infrastructure, but also undeveloped Crown Land, the value of which may give us a different view of our county's wealth and resources," said Mr Turnquest.