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17.01.2005 General News

Fobih concerned about slow pace in enhancing land administration

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Elmina, Jan. 17, GNA - The Minister- designate of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Professor Dominic Fobih, on Monday, urged personnel of agencies in charge of land administration to refrain from acts that impinge on the smooth administration of lands in the country.

He expressed concern that due to the fear of losing their institutional identities, some implementing agencies, engaged in "feet dragging and placed obstructions", making access to land, difficult. The minister-designate, made the call, when he opened a capacity building workshop for personnel of implementing agencies under his ministry, to facilitate the effective implementation of the Land Administration Project (LAP), at Elmina.

LAP, is being initiated by the government with assistance from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), to ensure fair, transparent, effective and efficient land administration, that would be investor friendly.

The two-week workshop, is being attended by personnel from the lands, town and country planning and survey departments, the office of the administrator of stool lands and lands commission.

According to Prof. Fobih, his ministry was "not happy" about the rate of transformation taking place in the land sector, and that there have been complaints about the situation, from several quarters, including from parliament.

Prof Fobih, in this regard, charged such institutions, " not to resist change" stressing that the LAP, was not meant "to attack any officials" but to make land acquisition more attractive and humane. According to him, land was a vital source of wealth creation and the source of agriculture, which is the mainstay of the nation's economy. He, in this regard, stressed the determination of the government to harness all the potentials and resources of the country to develop it economically and socially, to free Ghanaians from poverty, disease, ignorance and dependency.

He reiterated the importance of the workshop and therefore expressed the hope that the workshop, would provide the participants with the requisite skills, to enable them contribute effectively towards the effective implementation of the LAP.

"The LAP will depend on you for moving the process forward", he told the participants and gave the assurance that his ministry will continue to provide the requisite political leadership and support for the programme.

Mr Kjell Vikman, the Swedish Consultant for LAP, on his part, said even though this was the first time his organisation, SWEDESURVEY, was organising a workshop in Ghana, it was poised to effectively assist in the evolvement of a workable land administration document.

He expressed gratitude to the implementing agencies for the co-operation and assistance they have so far given to his organisation, and urge them to keep it up.

Mr Sulemana Mahama, LAP Co-ordinator explained that the project was a worthwhile investment, and therefore urged participants to take the workshop serious, to ensure the desired results.

Mr Michael Essandoh, the Central Regional co-ordinating director, in an address read for him, observed that often times, projects have failed to yield the needed results, because of low capacity of the personnel who are required to see to its implementation.

It is therefore, very appropriate for the implementing agencies to undergo such a capacity building training workshop in order to equip themselves skilfully for the task ahead of them, he added.

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