A 384.5 million-cedi Volta Regional Lands Registry was inaugurated in Ho on Tuesday as one of the major landmarks of the Land Administration project in the country.
This brings to seven the number of regional Land Registries in the country. They rest are in Western, Eastern, Northern, Brong-Ahafo, Upper East and Upper West regions.
The Volta Registry in Ho, funded from the Land Commission's internally generated funds, becomes operational in January 2008 as a major incentive to land title registration in the region that is carried out in Accra and lately in Koforidua.
Madam Rita Tani Idi, Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, appealed to officials of the registry to "openly display the fees and charges for the registration of lands as well as the processes and procedures to guide the public".
"In this era of transparency, accountability, rule of law and good governance in general, nobody will be shielded when caught in any act that would derail the good intentions for the establishment of the Land Registry".
Madam Idi directed the registry and Lands Commission to set up a client service unit to receive and deal with problems as well as mount vigorous public education on the functions of the registry and the need to patronize it.
She said "Bureaucratic formalities, delays, frustrations and sometimes corrupt practices associated with service delivery", tended to undermine many good interventions intended to benefit the people.
Alhaji Ibrahim Baryeh, Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, said in a speech read for him that the demand for tax clearance certificates from those seeking to register their lands constituted a major obstacle to the speedy registration of lands.
"Report by the monitoring and evaluation Unit of the LAP indicates a backlog of 359 documents at the Sunyani Deed Registry due to lack of acquisition of tax clearance certificates".
He therefore appealed to the parent Ministry to re-consider that requirement.
Mr Kofi Dzamesi, the Volta Regional Minister, expressed delight at the establishment of the registry and appealed to the ministry to increase the number of Customary Land Secretariats in the region from the current one.
He said he was optimistic that the Land Registry would be a catalyst to attract investors to the region by reducing land disputes.