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20.01.2006 General News

Acquire land titles to avoid land disputes - Bintim

By GNA

Accra, Jan. 20, GNA - District Assemblies have been advised to acquire land titles to avoid protracted land disputes that are associated with the implementation of development projects. A statement signed in Accra on Friday by Mr Frank Asante, Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, said Mr Charles Bintim, the Sector Minister, gave the advice when he addressed members of the Community-Based Rural Development Projects (CBRD) Steering Committee, an initiative by the Government to alleviate poverty particularly in rural communities. The project, which is being implemented by the Ministry, would also address other priority demands of the rural population such as the provision of basic infrastructure, increase in income levels, improving access to basic social services and building capacities in order to increase investments in economic, social and environmental activities. Mr Bintim mentioned some stalled development projects such as the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo Project to construct a dam in the Northern Region, which had been stopped by the landlord due to improper negotiations for the land.

He said the CBRD project was dear to Ghanaians, especially those in the rural communities, and urged members of the Committee to work hard to ensure its success for maximum benefits.

The Minister also tasked the Management of the project not to be ambiguous, but set realistic targets, which could be reviewed in the course of implementation. Members should also visit project sites to inspect ongoing projects to avoid shoddy work.

Mr B. M. Oppong, National Coordinator of the Project, said it had sensitised opinion leaders including the traditional authorities and 450 Area Council members throughout the country. It had also trained contractors to build scale-small dams with support from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

He said the Ministry and the Account-General's Department had started comprehensive programme to change the current Cash Accounting System being practised by Ministries, Departments and Agencies and District Assemblies for Accrual Accounting System in line with the Financial Administration Act, saying financial officers would also be trained to be abreast with the changes. The National Coordinator said eight Area Council members and two officials of the project were in Sierra Leone to study the Rapid Results Initiative for peer learning and adaptation at community level.

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