Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015, 20:59 by GxMediaUniversity of Guyana Vice Chancellor, Professor Jacob Opadeyi on Friday defended his decision to apply for an almost USD$200,000 contract to digitize the country’s immovable property records at the Deeds Registry and make them available Online.
Responding to claims that he had deprived UG of the opportunity of being awarded the Inter American Development Bank (IDB)-funded project, he said the institution had first applied but he was informed that only individuals could have done so. “When I applied for the project, I applied as University of Guyana. I was told that it’s not a project for companies; it’s an individual consultancy under the rule of the IDB,” he said.
He said he was the only person in the Caribbean who has built such a system that was installed in Grenada.
Ranked the highest for the project, Opadeyi said UG would still benefit because 15 percent of the US$193,000 would be put in the institution’s coffers and at least 40 UG students would be hired to work on the three-month project. “Because of the contract that I won,” he said that money would buy 50 computers for UG.
He brushed aside concerns that he would be having little time for the tertiary institution’s work. “That project doesn’t cost me any time at all because the template is there,” he said.
The Nigeria-born Vice Chancellor said the project would help to build capacity at the centres in Suddie, New Amsterdam and Georgetown and assist in fast-tracking the processing and acquisition of Deeds by early next year. “By January next year when the project is finished, you want to get a copy of your deed you go to the Internet. You don’t go to the registry and line up and when you go to the bank to apply for your loan, they don’t tell you bring your document. They go to the Internet and get your deed,” he said.
Opadeyi said he was not opposed to lecturers generating income for themselves and the university but their consultancies must not affect their lectures. “You cannot postpone your class because you have a consultancy,” he said.
The consultancy is for the Digitization of Immovable Property Records and the Establishment of an Electronic Database with Linkage to the Sub-Registries – Deeds Registry
The IDB said the objective is to deliver to the Deeds Registry a fully functional, operational, secured, user friendly, responsive, useful and easy to use Land Management Information System for optimal use by staff across the Registry, within the duration set for this project.