By Aluma Clement
Arua-There is growing frustration among locals in West Nile region who wish to process land titles and borrow loans but the process has failed due to non-operationalization of the Arua regional office.
The offices, which were supposed to have been open to the public in October this year, have allegedly been postponed to January next year making the matters even worse for the locals and the business community.
Dominic Anguandia, a local businessman in Arua town said: “This Christmas season is going to be a bad one for me because banks cannot give loan using my land title. I have moved to Entebbe and Kampala but they referred me back to Arua yet the office is ever closed. I am just stranded now.”
The banks have even been the most affected as they cannot register interests of the mortgages provided by the potential borrowers.
“Banks are the most affected as collateral is hampered, titles remain as titles and we cannot register interests on them. It is even worse for those who are borrowing for the first time,” Simon Avutia, the manager Equity bank Arua branch said.
Avutia said banks were losing lots of money and called on the ministry of lands urgently open the offices to save the situation.
But the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban development Betty Amongin regretted the non-operationalization of the regional offices which were completed in 2012 saying the ministry was in the process of opening it.
“When you are computerizing, there would be all these forms of interruptions, as you know, we are digitalizing all the tittles which requires scanning and all the documents have been moved to Arua from Kampala but we plan to open the office in January,” Amongin said.
She said she had received complaints from area members of parliament and ministers from the region about the problems caused by not opening the office.