Business News of 2014-07-28

Lands Commission lobbies for 40% of IGF

The acting Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Dr. Wilfred K. Anim-Odame, has lobbied the parliamentary sub-committee responsible for the land sector to support the commission's efforts to retain 40 percent of its Internally Generated Funds (IGF) as well as 6 percent of stamp-duty revenues.

He was speaking at a meeting in Accra with the MPs, where he said the commission needs financial assistance to run its affairs and that there are great opportunities for the Lands Commission to offer effective and efficient land services to citizens.

According to him, the commission with the support of its staff has developed a blueprint on re-engineering its business processes and taken steps to establish the necessary structures that will for the first time in the history of Ghana offer the public an opportunity to access the services of the Lands Commission through a one-stop shop.

He said it has become necessary to collapse the individual divisional operational procedures into a singular workflow for land service delivery within the commission.

“In the process, we are establishing five customer service and access units to operationalise the one-stop shop concept in five regional capitals by December. This will however require some commitment from all key stakeholders because the financial resource base of the Lands Commission is weak.

“The commission, as a matter of urgency, needs a financial bailout and an intervention, and we are fully convinced that our honourable members here present are in a very good position to lobby on our behalf to enable the four divisions of the Lands Commission retain part of their IGF, and in addition keep 6 percent of the stamp duty revenue generated,” he said.

The chairman of the parliamentary sub-committee on Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Amadu Seidu, said the issue of retaining part of the IGF has already been raised in parliament, but the committee has decided to wait for the new minister to take office before it pursues it.

“The whole committee did very well by raising the IGF issue in parliament, which was admitted by the Speaker who called for a statement which has been fully debated. What is left to be done now is the implementation of the decision of parliament.

“What the committee has planned to do is to wait for our new minister to take office, then the committee will seek audience with the minister and the Minister of Finance to see how we can agree amongst ourselves to push this particular agenda,” he said.

“Even if the 40 percent is not accepted, we will settle on a reasonable percentage that will cushion the commission and its agencies to some extent; so does it apply to the 6 percent non-tax revenue, which is also important,” he added.

According to Dr. Anim-Odame, the commission is walking the talk, and would happily take the committee members to the site where the one-stop shop building in Accra is undergoing construction, adding that the project will eventually be rolled-out to five regional capitals including Sekondi and Koforidua.

He said they are working efficiently through a consultant to develop a land information system which will automate the commission’s business processes by migrating onto a digital environment.

Source: B&FT
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