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26.05.2004 General News

Govt to address compensation for acquired lands

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Accra, May 26, GNA - Government would soon come out with a policy to address the issues of paying compensation for the lands it has acquired without paying for them.
Alhaji Sulemana Mahama, Coordinator for Land Administration Project (LAP), said inventories had already been taken on 31 sites and LAP was now assessing the total amount to be paid.
Alhaji Mahama, who was speaking at a public forum organised by Network for Women's Rights, Ghana (NETRIGHT), said lands acquired by the Government since 1970 had not been paid for and this had caused bad relationships between the Government and some Chiefs.
He said the implementation of the new policy would resolve the problem, adding that LAP was a five-year pilot project, which began in October 2003 to find out how much the Government was indebted to landowners.
He said the country's development partners had contributed 54 million dollars while the Government provided 8.5 million dollars for the project.
Alhaji Mahama noted that the determination of boundaries and the management of land were problematic and called on civil society and stakeholders to show commitment to addressing the complexities. He said poverty reduction and enhancement of socio-economic growth by accelerating access to land irrespective of gender; developing of efficient system of land titling; registration; valuation and administration were some of the project objectives.
He said, even though, a land policy was developed in 1973 nothing was done until 1994 when a systematic land reform policy started, adding that weak land administration regime both public and customary, inadequate policy and regulatory framework, general indiscipline in land use were the key issues identified in the reform policy. He said the only mechanism to address the issues was through the land administration programme.
Mrs Dodzi Tsikata, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER) and Convenor of NETRIGHT, Ghana, said women farmers experienced discriminatory customary practices. She, therefore, called on LAP to fully address the issue affecting women's access to land and suggested a fundamental transformation in customary tenure system and land administration practices.

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