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11.05.2008 General News

Judiciary urged to be consistent in adjudication of land issues

By GNA


Mr Andrew Edwin Arthur, Dean of Parliamentary Press Corps, has appealed to the Judiciary to be consistent on adjudication of land issues to ensure effective implementation of the Land Administration Project (LAP).

He noted that such an effort would ensure prompt resolution of land disputes. Mr Arthur made the appeal at the opening of a three-day workshop organised by the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines for the Parliamentary Press Corps in Koforidua.

The workshop was to sensitise them on the Lands Commission Bill expected to be laid before Parliament when sitting resumes this month.

Mr Arthur stressed the need for Government to pay compensation on stool lands acquired for development and urged chiefs and land owners to consider the over-riding benefits from such projects before demanding compensation.

He said in some cases chiefs and land owners were demanding compensation from Government for lands that had already been paid and threatening to take back the lands.

Mr Arthur commended the collaboration between Lands Commission, Survey Department, Land Valuation Board and Land Title Registry within the same premises in Accra and Kumasi as part of LAP.

"This would reduce delays and problems associated with processing land title documents," he said.

Mr Issahaq Jalaludeen, Planning Officer of Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines said there were 166 land laws being codified as part of LAP for effective and efficient adjudication of land issues.

He said 37 per cent of land cases were in the courts and efforts were being made to resolve them.

Mr Jalaludeen noted that most conflicts on lands existed in areas where land was owned by traditional authorities and families than where they were owned by Government.

He said Customary Land Secretariats at Kyebi in Eastern Region and Asantehene's Palace in Manhyia had been strengthened.

However, Mr Jalaludeen noted that LAP was being constrained by mainstreaming, procurement and donor co-ordination programmes, and appealed for assistance from stakeholders for its success.

Mrs Ama Kudom-Agyemang, Communications Specialist of LAP, appealed to chiefs and family land owners to support LAP because of its financial benefits.

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