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Change the course of land administration in Ghana – Akufo-Addo to Lands commission

Thu, 2 Sep 2021 Source: kasapafmonline.com

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged the newly constituted twenty-five (25) member Lands Commission Board to do everything possible to change the current negative course of land administration in Ghana.

Addressing members of the Board after swearing them into office at the Banquet Hall of the Jubilee House, President Akufo-Addo noted that the country’s land administration challenges have persisted far too long and it is time to leverage on technology and all other means at our disposal to correct the wrongs.

According to President Akufo-Addo, “the framers of the Constitution appreciated the importance of land to the socio-economic development of the country. All human activity revolves around land and thus access to land is one of the most important factors in the development of any nation”.

“Regrettably, in spite of the various intervention by successive governments, most of the challenges in our land administration still persist including the dishonest sale of lands, poor record-keeping at the commission, encroachment of public lands, and the fraudulent registration of lands,” Akufo-Addo said.

The Challenges

To buttress his point, the President posed the following questions: “Why should the same parcel of land be registered in the names of different people when the same lands commission is responsible for registration? Why should documents or files submitted to the Lands Commission mysteriously disappear when the Lands Commission ought to be the chief custodian of such important documents? Why should it take years to register just a plot of land,” the President asked?

An efficient and effective land administration system, the President says, will not give room for any of the rhetorical issues raised in the questions posed to occur.

“Our quest to transform our economy to bring about the much-needed development and prosperity cannot be achieved without effective land administration. Investors will be frightened away if they spend good money to acquire land as a major tool for production only to realize that what they acquired is litigation that spans years and sometimes decades,” President Akufo-Addo noted.

Digitization

The President in his remarks urged the new Board to prioritize the digitization of the operations of the Lands Commission. He noted that digitization is the fastest route the Commission can use to achieve the much-needed reforms.

“As you take office, one of the things you must pursue aggressively is the digitization of the records of the Lands Commission. Most of the reforms needed to build an efficient land administration may be within our reach if we are about to move away from manual registration to digital registration. You must therefore work assiduously to ensure that the digitization program works. Our target is to ensure that the registration takes a maximum of one month and I dare say, the Ghanaian people will assess the success of your tenure by how far this objective is attained,” the President stated.

Chairman’s Response

In his response to the charge of the President, Mr. Alex Nii Kweite Quaynor, Chairman of the Board assured the President that he and his colleagues will do all within their power to improve land administration in the nation.

“The word that will guide the Lands Commission Board during its term is reform. The reform requires changes at various levels of the operations of the Commission. Members of the Board of the Commission sworn into office this evening have the knowledge and expertise required to carry out the planned reforms and are committed to doing so satisfactorily,” the Board Chairman said.

The Lands Commission

The Lands Commission was established by article 258 of the 1992 Constitution and the Lands Commission Act, 2008 (act 767) as a body corporate with perpetual succession, a common seal and may sue and be sued in its corporate name.

The current Lands Commission, as part of the public sector reform programs and the land administration project, has been substantially remodelled by Act 767 to increase its efficiency and effectiveness.

The divisions of the Lands Commission under the Act are the survey and mapping division; the land valuation division; the land registration division and the public and vested land.

Functions of the Commission

The Lands Commission on behalf of the government manages public lands and any other lands vested in the President by the Constitution or by any other law and any lands vested in the Commission

The Commission also advises the government, local authorities, and traditional authorities on the policy framework for the development of particular areas of the country to ensure that the development of individual pieces of land is coordinated with the relevant development plan for the area concerned.

Other functions of the Commission are to formulate and submit to government recommendations on national policy with respect to land use suitability or capability, advise on, and assist in the execution of, a comprehensive program for the registration of title to land throughout the country, establish standards for and regulate survey and mapping of the country, provide surveying and mapping services where necessary, license practitioners of the cadastral survey, and provide land and land-related valuation services among others.

Members of the Board

The twenty-five (25) member Board has Mr. Alex Nii Kweite Quaynor, a nominee of the President as its Chairman. The members of the Board are Mr. James Ebenezer Dadson, the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission; Daasebre Osei Bonsu II, National House of Chiefs; Mr. Anthony Forson, Jnr., President of the Ghana Bar Association; Mr. Jonathan Allotey Abbosey, Ghana Institution of Surveyors; Mrs. Ama Kudom Agyeman, Bono East Region; Dr. Prosper Basommi Laari, North-East Region; Alhaji Mohammed Abdul-Haq, Upper West Region; Ms. Yvonne Adoley Sowah, Greater Accra Region; Mr. Kofi Dankwa Osei, Eastern Region; Mama Dzidoasi I, Volta Region; Nana Obonbo Sewura Lupuwura II, Oti Region, and Mr. Kwame Kwaasi Danso, Central Region.

The rest are Dr. Isaac Obirim Kofi Sagoe, Western Region; Mr. Samuel Kofi Abiaw, Western North Region; Nana Nsuase Poku-Agyemang III, Ashanti Region; Mr. Nicholas Lenin Anane-Agyei, Ahafo Region; Mr. Isaac Kwadwo Amankwah, Bono Region; Mr. Dubik Yakubu Mahama, Northern Region; Dr. Alhaji Adams Sulemana, Savannah Region; Mr. Jonathan Anaboro Angme, Upper East Region; Dr. Kwadwo Yeboah, Land Use & Spatial Planning Authority; Rev. Kwadwo Nkrumah, National Association of Farmers & Fishermen; Mr. Henry Kwabena Kokofu, Environmental Protection Agency, and Benito Owusu-Bio, MP, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

Source: kasapafmonline.com
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