NTC gets land for Head Office in Georgetown

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The National Toshaos Council (NTC) has finally received a lease for a plot of land at Sophia, Greater Georgetown for the construction of its secretariat.

The lease was handed over by Commissioner and Chief Executive of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC), Mr Trevor Benn to Chairman of the National Toshaos Council, Mr Nicholas Fredericks at the NTC office on Hadfield Street, a statement from the Commission noted on Tuesday.

The plot of land was requested by the NTC at its 2016 conference.

During its 2018 meeting in August, Indigenous leaders criticized the Government for failing to honour its promises.

According to the statement, Commissioner of the GL&SC told the Toshaos that the lease was available since February.

He noted that the two organizations need to work closely as it is the only way in which land-related issues affecting the indigenous communities could be addressed.

“We at the GL&SC have an open door policy and we are prepared to work with you to have your issues addressed, we may not be able to do so individually but as a body, I can assure you that we are going to look closely at the land related issues affecting your various communities,” Mr. Benn was quoted as saying the statement.

Benn also pledged the support of the legal section of the Commission to assist the NTC on land-related matters they may encounter.

According to the Lands and Surveys Commission, the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, the Commission and the NTC will be working together to identify a larger plot of land to establish a complex that would include dormitories to accommodate Toshaos, conference rooms and other facilities as promised by President David Granger earlier this year.

Chairman of the NTC, Nicholas Fredericks expressed his willingness to work hand in hand with the Commission to advance the relationship between the two bodies, the statement noted.

“If we look at most of the indigenous communities today, one of the most consistent issues is that of land, most persons have issues with their lands and because of this, development is slow in some of those communities because there are not so much you can do on disputed lands” he was quoted as saying in the release.

Mr Fredricks also thanked the GLSC for fast-tracking the NTC’s lease pointing out that it signals the beginning of great things to come for the indigenous peoples.

Toshaos from the various Indigenous communities raised a number of land-related issues with the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission which Mr Benn said will be looked at.

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