Top posts at Lands and Survey filled internally

| 28/11/2022 | 10 Comments
Cayman News Service
Uche Obi

(CNS): The Ministry for District Administration and Lands (MDAL) has appointed Uche Obi as the new director of the Department of Lands and Survey and Michael Whiteman as deputy director. The two Caymanians were recruited from within the department as both had held long-standing senior roles. Having been identified as potential successors to the outgoing director, they both completed a recruitment exercise acting as deputy director for four months. The successful candidate was made director and the runner-up was given the post of deputy.

“The advancement of these two highly capable, long-standing civil servants to senior positions is a vision realised,” said Acting Deputy Governor Gloria McField-Nixon. “This vision sees our best talent with a proven history of service delivery and the relevant education, experience and competencies, being inwardly promoted to senior leadership. Globally, employers are struggling to hire and retain talent in specialist roles, and in the Cayman Islands we are now having one set of Caymanian leaders training and developing the next.”

The director of Lands and Survey has responsibility for five units, chairing the Public Lands Commission and ensuring that stamp duty revenues are assessed and collected under the Stamp Duty Law (1995 Revision). The deputy director reports directly to the director, and deputises for and assists the director.

Cayman News Service
Michael Whiteman

MDAL Acting Chief Officer Wilbur Welcome said that Obi and Whiteman were civil servant stalwarts, revered technocrats in their respective fields and thought leaders.

Obi has a postgraduate diploma in Business Systems Analysis and Design and a Master’s in Property Valuation and Law. He has served for 17 years in Lands and Survey as a valuer, senior valuer, and chief valuation officer before acting as deputy director. He has over 20 years real estate experience in the public and private sectors gained in the United Kingdom and the Caribbean region.

Obi said he was proud of the department’s team, which had collected CI$122 million in stamp duty and registration fees in 2021. He said the department would continue to prioritise and identify ways to innovate and evolve operations for a sustainable future.

Whiteman holds several technical certifications, including certification by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and specialises in surveying. Prior to his official appointment, he served as a survey technician, senior survey technician, geomatician, senior geomatician, and chief surveyor. His achievements include bringing the surveying of lands and properties into the digital age when he led the rewriting and updating of the 1972 Land Surveying Act and Regulations (1996 Revision). Whiteman has 30 years of experience in civil service work and management.

Whiteman said he was looking forward to continuing to modernise and embrace new methodologies at the department. “Our work has a great impact on the Cayman Islands as we promote and support land ownership and land use. Maintaining a secure land registry and creating well-defined boundaries will allow the public to have confidence in undertaking land use activities,” he added.

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Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    There is no succession planning in place for real caymanians. we have allowed people to come here to brainwash us and our children that we are no good . The pot soon boil over .

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sorry- but hopeless appts . It’s such a massive shame to see this once great Dept fall back into mediocrity (and that’s being kind) over the last 10+ yrs. No dynamism , no forward thinking, just stuck in the mud …

    • Anonymous says:

      Great yeah, based on whose assessment when there was no upward mobility for generational Caymanians. A certain PS who grew up in the department from inception thought he would be in charge forever and always put his hand picked people in charge namely those he could control until they got PR and status, then they turned the tables and brought their own people in.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Stamp Duty Law (1995 Revision) ??? or Stamp duty Act (2019 Revision) if dah using dat outdated law dah why nutten not getting done

  4. Anonymous says:

    Only one generational Caymanian to just the deputy level in 50+ years of L&S existence.

    If Government can’t set an example, just imagine what is happening in the private sector.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Uche! Great guy and most professional gentleman.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Lands and Survey changed Block and Parcel numbers last year without sending out legal notice of change to the relevant affected sub-title holders, of what they were doing, what it was for, and when it was to have effect. Consequently, those title holders, who hold rights, where subjected to a prolonged unintended state of deficiency with mortgage holding banks, and insurers, needlessly adding costs, compliance headache, and eroding trust.

  7. Anonymous says:

    And yet the department is still useless….


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