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08.08.2006 Social News

Chiefs Advised On Use Of Royalties

By NEWSTIMES
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The President of the National House of Chiefs, Odeneho Gyapong Ababio has urged traditional authorities to desist from using royalties from stool lands for personal projects.

Rather, he said, chiefs should use such revenue to carry out projects that would be beneficial to their communities.

Odeneho Ababio said this at the launch of the 10th anniversary of the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands (OASL) in Accra on Friday on the theme, "A decade of OASL, achievements, challenges and prospects." It aimed at educating the public about the activities of the administration.

He said implementing development projects from royalties of stool lands would be appreciated by the people, adding, "this will not allow them to prefer destoolment charges against chiefs".

Odeneho Ababio called for a review of the current royalties being paid to traditional leaders saying what is paid is inadequate to carry out the development agenda of the traditional areas.

He asked District Assemblies to also use royalties given them to develop their respective communities and desist from using such resources to benefit only a few individuals.

He expressed the preparedness of traditional authorities to assist in efforts to bringing sanity into the administration of stool lands, by helping to end the numerous land disputes and violent conflicts associated with land issues in the country.

The Administrator of Stool Lands, Matilda Fiadzigbey said that the administration intends to increase land revenue from ¢80 billion this year to ¢100 billion in 2007.

"As the lead agency for the strengthening of customary land administration under the Land Administration Project, we intend to collaborate effectively with the facilitation team to achieve the targets set through the creation of 15 more customary land secretariat by December, 2008," Mrs Fiadzigbey said.

She therefore appealed for support from the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines and other stakeholders to enable the secretariat realize objectives for which it was established.

Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Andrew Adjei Yeboah urged district assemblies to use funds from the royalties judiciously to enhance the development of their districts, saying the royalties, care not windfall for the assemblies are meant but to undertake the development projects of the assemblies.

He noted that most of the conflict in the country are as a result of land issues and commended the OASL for its programmes of ensuring equitable distribution of royalties from stool lands.

Activities earmarked for the celebration include a stakeholder forum, seminars, meeting with chiefs, farmers and traditional authorities as well as radio and television programmes on the activities of OASL.

The occasion was also used to outdoor the 10th anniversary cloth of the department to be used as part of the celebration.

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