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Award conferred for leadership in securing land rights and modernizing the state’s land administration.

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Annapolis, MD, August 20, 2013 – Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River state, Nigeria, received a Special Achievement Award from Thomson Reuters for his outstanding leadership in modernizing the state’s land administration operations. Tom Walsh, managing director of the government division within the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters, conferred the award to Governor Imoke. “Through your leadership, the government of Cross River has made tremendous progress in how land information is processed and administered, and from this successful project you are ensuring that land rights for the people of Cross River are secured and maintained,” stated Walsh to the Governor during the award ceremony.

Governor Imoke has led a four-year project to modernize the state’s land administration function and to integrate land information systems for state government offices. Cross River state enacted new laws and policies to protect peoples’ rights, and invested in the physical, human, and digital infrastructure necessary for the government to improve critical services for citizens, government institutions, and the general public.
Results from this project include a reduction in the time and expense for citizens to register their land rights. This has led to a dramatic upturn in the number of new applications from citizens to register lands. Subsequently, from the increase in registration volumes, fees generated from the registration processes are allowing for sustained financial operations for Cross River state’s Land Commission. This is essential for the state to maintain and update land records for future generations.

The land information modernization effort has enabled Cross River government to collect and index land records. It included the merging of land parcel data with other geographic information into a single fully searchable digital map on the extent and area of ownership. This single source of land information, accessible via the Internet, improves sharing of information and enhances the government’s planning capabilities.

Thomson Reuters conferred the award at a sister-state signing ceremony between Maryland state Governor Martin O’Malley and Cross River state Governor Liyel Imoke. “Just as Maryland state is seen as a leader in the innovative use land and geographic information systems through the highly acclaimed StateStat system, Cross River state is an early leader in Nigeria by securing the base land ownership information critical to laying a solid social and economic foundation for sustained development and poverty reduction,” said Tom Walsh.

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