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The Addis Ababa City Land Banking and Transfer Agency took back 144 hectares of leased land that it claimed is not being used as per their agreement.
The agency has also identified over 135 hectares of plot that it classified as being cases of land grabbing.
During the 2013/14 fiscal year, the two cases were among the areas where the agency performed beyond the target it set at the beginning of the fiscal year.
The agency had planned to ‘bank’ and identify 120 hectares of aggregate plots that were not being used for the purpose they were initially proposed for.
Alemayehu Mulate, Lease Implementation and Inspection Head at the agency said that demands from governmental offices including the Prime Minister’s office led the agency to bank more plots of land.
“The demands for new projects such as the government housing projects as well as demand from foreign investors meant more plots are needed and we had to work hard on banking the plots that are not being used,” he told Capital.
The agency also transferred 660 hectares of plots for the construction of condominium houses among which 54.95 hectares went to the 40/60 housing scheme. This achievement is 153. 7 percent of what they planned to accomplish.
The agency attributed the issue of land grabbing to organizations that attempt to use additional plots, other than the already slated one they leased. “Previously, we saw this in the outskirts of the city. But now we are observing legally registered companies attempting to go beyond their demarcated area,” Alemayehu said.
Banking non-functional plots will continue in an organized and strengthened way Alemayehu claimed. “There are still areas which were leased ten years ago but are still idle and we will go for them,” he emphasized.
Currently, there are 850 hectares of land banked under the agency according to figures.
On the other hand, the agency registered the lowest performance in offering ownership certificates for house owners and leasing plots with special tenders. The performance of transferring land to rehabilitated citizens was also below half of the target.
A change made in the plan of offering ownership certificates for houses that were built between 1996 and 2005 was the reason behind the low performance according to Dereje Lakew, Tenure Administration Project Coordination deputy manager at the agency.
Construction services helped the agency bring in more money. The agency all in all earned 1.5 billion birr during the last fiscal year which is 83 percent of the 1.8 billion birr it had intended to earn.