M.N.R.E. lease revenues plunge $1 million

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's Government land lease division suffered a $1 million drop in revenue during the 2018-19 Financial Year. 

“A huge loss of revenue by a million is observed for this financial year compared to the previous year," the Ministry's annual report found. 

The Ministry attributes the loss mostly to the transfer of the ownership and management of Salelologa township lands to the Samoa Land Corporation.  

Revenue from leased lands at Aleisa had also dropped and was stabilising, the report found, after several years worth of rent in arrears were collected the year before. 

The M.N.R.E. collected $334,640 for the 2017-18 Financial Year, compared with $155,068 the following year. Tanumalala leases, similarly, delivered revenues of $31,261 for 2017-18 and $42,487 the previous year. 

The largest single drop in revenues came in the miscellaneous category, where the Ministry collected $788,676.11 compared with $1.7 million the year previously. 

The miscellaneous category comprises: Government lands leased under different conditions to other Ministries including the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture and the Samoa International Finance Authority; private sector concerns such as the R.S.A., Digicel and Bluesky. Government lands located in rural and urban villages such as the Taumeasina Hotel in Moata’a village also form part of the category.  

The Ministry also recorded a drop in its revenues from cemetery leases to $17,000 from $31,100. 

In the 2018-19 financial year, a total of $10,800 was collected for Tafa’igata which is down from $19,700; for the Vailele cemetery revenue was $4,200, down from $10,800. The cemetery in Magiagi saw an increase of collection to $1,500 from the $300 previously. 

The Ministry's Land Registration Section for Customary lands received 2,870 instruments for registration within fiscal year 2018 – 2019.  

“A total of 67 instruments were carried forward from 2017-2018 [Financial Year] and reason being, these instruments were [non-compliant]with the Land Torrens Registration Act 2008," the report said. 

“Thus, amounting to a total of 3,020 documents received for registration, whereby 34 documents were cancelled in reason to re-registrations of the same interest or non-conducted official searches and 116 are being rolled over to new fiscal year and requisitioned by the Registrar of Lands due to noncompliance with the [legislation].

“In terms of the internal registration services, a total of 417 cancel and termination services were registered for extinguishing interests that were to be removed from the computer system which were exclusive of any fees charged.

“Additionally, the record services such as easements, memorials and proclamations and Registrar’s memorials amount to 227, and a total of 14 land titles were varied to a different estate type, 79 titles were converted to the current computerized system and a total of 1,084 new titles were created.”

The report says the Land Registration Section revenue earned $295,300 after receiving 2,953 documents and $ 40,840 for official searches during the 2018-19 year. 

“This tallies revenue earned through the Land Management Division by its Land Registration Section to a total of $336,140,” states the report.

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