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04.04.2007 Business & Finance

Boost For Investors

A Land Bank Directory, with about 119,435 hectares, has been compiled by the government for potential investors and developers.

The objective of the project is to reduce the frustration and delays which investors go through in their attempt at accessing land for productive ventures.

The project is a collaborative effort among the Ministries of Lands, Mines and Forestry, Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, and Food and Agriculture, in consultation with traditional rulers and landowners.

At the launch of the 26-page directory in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Professor Dominic Fobih, said the directory would be reviewed on an annual basis until all the land had been documented.

He said the directory contained information on land available in eight out of the 10 regions of the country and were suitable for agriculture, real estate, tourism, horticulture, forest plantation, as well as industrial and commercial development.

Information in the directory includes the names of the districts, names of the property, the location of the land, the size of the land, land use type, the kind of ownership (either private, public, company or state) and the address of the owner.

Prof Fobih mentioned the eight regions as Volta, Brong Ahafo, Northern, Greater Accra, Eastern, Ashanti, Central and Western and added that not all the districts in those regions had been covered under the first phase of the project.

The minister stressed that the institution of the land bank was to facilitate investors' access to land in order to give expression to the government's agenda of property-owning democracy.

He said it was common knowledge that land acquisition in Ghana had been fraught with frustration and problems, resulting in litigation and sometimes threats to human life.

β€œThe situation has been very frustrating to investors, to the point that some had to relocate their investments elsewhere,” he pointed out.

He said to encourage more investors, the ministry was ready to facilitate the inspection of any land in the directory with potential investors and introduce them to landowners for easy transaction, where necessary.

The minister asked investors who were interested in the directory to contact the Land Administration Project (LAP) Secretariat at the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines or any of the agencies of the ministry throughout the country.

The Project Director of LAP, Dr Odame Larbi, said the objective of the project was to lay the foundation for a self-sustaining land administration system which would promote efficiency and transparency, among other things.

In her remarks, the Chief Advisor to President J. A. Kufuor, Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse, said the country could achieve its target of a middle-income status in 2015 only when issues about land were handled efficiently.

The Paramount Chief of the Asante Mampong Traditional Area, Daasebre Osei Bonsu II, who chaired the function, urged chiefs to support the project to attract investors to their areas.

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