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Legal action against ground rent defaulters in Cantonments, Airport Residential, others not advisable – Minister

Wed, 9 Sep 2020 Source: Happy 98.9FM

Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio, has described as a wasteful venture hauling defaulters to court over the non-payment of mandatory annual ground rent.

Reports indicate that some residents, especially those living in suburbs considered as prime in the Greater Accra region of Ghana have failed to honour the payment of the ground rent for over 30 years. Key areas mentioned in the report included Legon, North Legon, Cantonments, Airport Residential, Osu etc.

The Deputy Minister in an interview with Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show (HMS) explained that the Land Commission’s inability to collect the ground rent is partly a result of poor data collation on the ownership of lands.

The ground rent is an amount paid annually by landowners to the Land Commission for onward disbursement to some selected custodians. The current annual charge for ground rent is GHS150. Yet, the Land Commission says it has not been able to identify the challenge impeding landowners from paying the charge despite most of these owners being in the pole position to honour this payment.

A key strategy, as revealed by Benito Owusu to compel residents and landowners to pay these accrued charges will be to name and shame.

Benito Owusu hints that Ghanaians should expect the publication of the names of defaulters, especially residents who are occupying government lands. He, however, expressed optimism that this approach may induce defaulters to honour their responsibilities.

“Plans are also advanced, as indicated by the Deputy Minister, for the Lands Commission to recruit national service personnel, beginning next year, to help collect some of these charges.”

Source: Happy 98.9FM

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