By Christopher Ambe
This light in complexion, respectable Cameroonian woman, noted for her decent dressing is always wearing a contagious smile. She is very welcoming and duty-conscious. In deed, she has been described -in many quarters and by many critical observers -as a workaholic.
Bate-Eya Florence Epse Arrey is a sworn Conservator/Registrar of Lands for Fako Division.
|Bate-Eya Florence Eya.epse Arrey: Dedicated Land Conservator !|
This likeable official of Cameroon’s Ministry of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure, is the first ever English-speaking (Anglophone) woman to occupy such a sensitive office.
As a land conservator/registrar, Mrs.Arrey, aged about 50, ensures that the procedures for acquiring a land certificate in Cameroon is strictly applied.
Holder of BBA (Hons) Degree in Secretarial Administration from the Irish University Business School, London, Mrs. Arrey, according to my findings, does any piece of job entrusted her with dedication.
This is even more obvious in the performance of her functions as Land Registrar, conscious that a land certificate is the only document to show proof of land ownership.
“I very much enjoy doing my job, as the first woman to be a land registrar in Anglophone Cameroon”, she told this writer. “No woman in this part of the country has ever signed a land certificate, so I am determined to do only the right thing”
Mrs. Arrey masters land tenure ordinances very well, conscious that the country has no school for the training of land registrars as it has for surveyors.
“You must love your job before you master how to go about it in order to satisfy public expectation”, the land registar, who has retained the job now for four years, observed. “I enjoy my job very well despite the challenges involved in it such as opposition to the issuance of land certificate by some rival parties.
Mrs.Arrey’s jovial nature, her mastery of the land tenure laws and Christian values help her face the challenges of her job squarely.
She advises: “Land owners and potential owners must do the right thing to see that they obtain a land certificate. It is the only document to show proof of land property right in Cameroon. It is invaluable and final. If you have not got it, then you don’t own the property because in this country all land belongs to the State”
Mrs.Arrey would cite the Bible book of Jeremiah 32:1-6 where God told Jeremiah to go have his property titled. “So, if God can advise an individual to have a land certificate, it means that a land certificate is the only document to show proof of land property right”, she noted, enumerating the advantages of having it such as using it as collateral to secure bank loans.
“People buy shares using their landed property. And they do that using a land certificate”
Assiduous Public Servant
Mrs.Arrey,who was recruited into the public service in 1984 (in the then Ministry of Town Planning and Housing), was transferred to the then Provincial Service of Lands in Buea. She has headed several units and services at the Divisional and Regional levels of Public Service. In 1995, she was Chief of Bureau for General Affairs in the Provincial Service of Lands, Buea; in 1999, Mrs.Arrey served as chief of Bureau du Livre.
In 2006, she was appointed the Divisional Chief of Service for Land Tenure, Kumba-Meme Division. In 2008, she served as Interim Provincial Chief of Service for Administration and Finance at Provincial Delegation of State Property and Land Tenure-Buea. In 2010, she served as Fako Divisional Delegate cumulatively with the post of Conservator of Lands in Fako Division.
Up to date, Mrs. Arrey is the Conservator of Lands for Fako Division, attracting accolade from the service users. “ As she is in the office ,she will work past the closing time provided people are waiting to be served”, one man who knows her well and came to follow-up his land documents, told me.
Other frequent users of her service contacted were all agreed that, although Mrs. Arrey likes to crack jokes, she is cannot be induced into corrupt practices.
Staunch CPDM Adherent
Mrs.Arrey is also politically conscious. As member of the ruling CPDM in Cameroon, she thinks this political party is one that any patriotic person should join. “In the CPDM you have so many patriotic and responsible people committed to nation-building.
“When you read the Word of God, it says no authority can exist without the approval of the Almighty God. It is the CPDM whose chairperson is Cameroon’s Head of State. It is God who has enthroned Mr. Paul Biya, CPDM National Chair as Head of State”, noted Mrs.Arrey, who is Councilor of Mamfe Council. “The CPDM party for now is God’s choice, so I will continue to be its member.
A Christian Leader
Mrs. Arrey is a devout Christian. She is an Ordained Mother of God in a Jewish Church-The Holy Sabbath (Community of Yahweh worldwide), and Special Envoy to the General Overseer of the above -mentioned religious organization in all French –speaking countries in Africa.
What makes Mrs. Arrey more special? She loves humanity. “I do to others what I want them do unto me as the Bible in the Book of Mathieu recommends”, she says. She is empathic and philanthropic. Anywhere, as the need arises, Mrs.Arrey educates the public on land issues
She is very motherly and a caring .She is member of several social groups such as the Solidarity Group -headed by the wife of Southwest Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai.This group gives assistance in different forms to the less-privileged. “I enjoy charitable works. That is one of the things Mrs. Chantal Biya, the First Lady has taught us”, she told this writer.
Married to Mr.Arrey E.Gregory, she and the husband are blessed with four well-brought up children.
She is bilingual (speaks English and French) and she loves preaching the Word of God and giving hope to the less-privileged.