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20.02.2009 General News

Minister calls for inventory of state lands


Mines and Forestry Minister Alhaji Collins Dauda has called for an inventory on state lands within the next three months to help remove bottlenecks in the land administration in the country.

This, he said, would address some of the injustices done to land owners and called on departments under the ministry to assist to make it tenable.

The minister said this when he paid a familiarisation visit to the Land Commission in Accra where he stressed the need for cooperation form departments and agencies under the ministry to make land registration less stressful.

“I am committed to ensure that land administration in the country becomes one of the best”, he said.

Alhaji Dauda noted that his focus would be on the implementation of the National land Policy launched by the National Democratic Congress government in 1999.

“Effective implementation of the policy is crucial to meeting the objectives of the NDC manifesto of having an efficient, effective and transparent land ownership and land use regime in the country”.

He commended the Land Commission for some of the successes chalked under constraints but noted that more needed to be done in the areas of land surveying, land title registration, protection state acquired lands and unpaid compensation for land.

He noted that a large volume of disputes were before the courts for settlement to free land for development and correct the uncoordinated development engulfing almost every urban settlement in the country.

Alhaji Dauda said the nation had a land sector that influenced directly over 75 percent of sector contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), therefore any bottleneck should be removed.

Alhaji Ibrahim Bayeh, Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission said the broadening of the Land Act (1994) by the passage of a new Land Commission Act 2008 (Act 767 creates a lot of opportunities for land administration in the country.

He noted that despite the decentralisation of the land registration services to eight regions and the operation of client services delivery, there were still daunting challenges with the review and implementation of the Ghana land Policy and addressing state acquisition, compensations and the Ga land issues among other things.

Equally complex challenges, he said, were the absence of proper hierarchy of land owning groups and land alienation arrangement, lack of clear boundaries, cost of poor land use, multiplicity of land ownership leading several unpaid compensations and noted that those issues needed an urgent attention.

The Executive Secretary also touched on conflicting court reports and the slow judicial process which plagued land administration and discouraged investment.

The land Administration Project he said had brought a big promise of systematic process to improve land administration but progress in some areas had been slow halting the process of converting manual records into electronic format.

Departmental heads of the Commission pledged their support to the minister to ensure that he had a successful term of office.