Business News of 2014-08-14

Lands Commission acts to check corruption

The Lands Commission, in a bid to drive out corruption and increase productivity, has embarked on a massive transfer of staff across all divisions.

Alhaji Bakari Sadiq Nyari, National Chairman of the Lands Commission, in an interaction with the media in Accra said the Commission is among some public institutions that can generate substantial revenue and that his administration is going to step up and strengthen its revenue streams to minimise its dependence on government funds.

He said one major factor that has hindered effective land administration process in the country is the way some staff in the institution have made themselves “tin gods” and untouchables and entrenched themselves at a particular position for far too long.

“This situation has unfortunately made a considerable number of staff, irrespective of their rank, corrupt -- which undermines efficiency and cannot continue under my administration,” he said.

Alhaji Nyari explained that the main challenge facing the commission now is how to effectively merge the four divisions which make up the Lands Commission under Act 767 (2009) to ensure efficiency in the land administration of the country.

On mapping which is a vital aspect of the proper land management and infrastructure development of a nation, he said the Commission is lacking in terms of equipment.

“We have not got to the stage where we can just punch a key on a computer to locate a place where a particular land is situated,” he said.

“A very important device (GPS) that enables one to accurately and easily locate a particular parcel of land costs about US$50,000, which the commission cannot procure. The limited number the commission has now cannot meet the high demands of clients, including state agencies.”

He said between 2006 and 2009 there was only one GPS device in the whole three northern regions, and one can imagine the implications. He said the Lands Administration Project (LAP) has taken delivery of a limited number, of which each region will have two, to enhance its activities and to meet the demand of its huge clientele.

He urged government to be committed to needs of the Lands Commission to enable it manage the country’s lands properly.

The four divisions -- Survey Department, Lands Valuation Board, former Lands Commission and Land Title Registry -- were autonomous bodies that existed before the coming into effect of the current Lands Commission.

Source: B&FT
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