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09.12.2005 General News

Okyenhene calls for review of land laws

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Kyebi (E/R), Dec. 9, GNA- The Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori-Panin has called for the review of the "socialist laws" on the administration of stool lands in the status books of the country. He observed that, the continuous removal of traditional authorities from the power to administer the wealth of the land they live on and investing such power in the state was denying the country the growth of rich citizens to champion the private sector development to become the engine of growth for the country. Okyenehene was speaking at Kyebi on Friday when the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Yaw Barimah, accompanied by the Deputy Regional Minister, Ms Susana Mensah and six District Chief Executives within the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area paid a courtesy call on the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council.

He described the laws which invested the administration of the minerals and forestry resources of the stool lands in the state as "socialist in nature", saying now that the country had adopted free enterprise economy, there was the need for such laws to be reviewed. Okyenhene said land brought wealth to individuals and the state and so issues on the administration of stool lands needed to be carefully handled to ensure benefit to the traditional authorities and individuals who owned them.

He regretted that before elections, most politicians come to seek the support of the traditional authorities but when they got into government, they tended to "forget the traditional authorities when taking decisions which affect the traditional areas." Okyenehene Ofori-Panin explained that the chiefs were forced to complain of such developments because often when the people were dissatisfied about any development, the first people they complained to were the chiefs with the assumption that their chiefs were part of the decision which was making them uncomfortable. Mr Barimah said it was the desire of government to work closely with the traditional authorities in the country, saying the government and its functionaries would often need the advice of traditional authorities in its development efforts.