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10.03.2006 Business & Finance

Lands need well demarcated boundaries

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Accra, March 10, GNA - Any attempt to improve or modernize land administration would fail without a well-demarcated and surveyed allodial boundary of the various stools, skins and family lands in the country.

Mr Benjamin E. Kwesi Prah, President of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors, told surveyors that proper mapping of allodial boundaries were so crucial and that even though PNDCL 1521986 attested to that, very little attention had been paid to it.

Speaking at the closing of the Fifth Regional Conference of the Federation of International Surveyors (FIG) for Africa held in Accra, Mr Prah said to improve land administration in the country; the nation would have to solve the dual problems of land tenure security and land information management.

He said the challenge was to build up relevant capacity that would address the development of the necessary approaches and models that would supply tenure to majority of Ghanaians and the provision of land information about the whole inclusive customary and informal settlement areas in the short term for decision makers.

Mr Prah noted that even though the current Land Administration Project (LAP) was supposed to address those problems, it was not being accorded the necessary priority.

"Until this problem is solved, proper planning in the form of land use layout schemes cannot be prepared to cover the informal/customary parts of the country.

"This explains why there are so many unapproved layouts/planning schemes for a given area making it difficult to capture any systematic, consistent and accurate cadastral information outside the government acquired lands," he said.

Mr Prah expressed worry over the low rate of absorption into the GhIS in spite of growing number of surveyor graduates, who graduated from tertiary institutions every year.

He said: "The country does not suffer from acute shortage of surveyors, though it has not reached the required levels". Mr Prah called for the establishment of a joint standing committee of the GhIS and the tertiary institutions to ensure that the relevant skills needed by the surveyors during training were incorporated into their curriculum and the benefits of joining the GhIS.

He also called for expedited action on the passage of the Survey Council Bill to change the attitude of stakeholders in land issues. "This piece of legislation is what will give the GhIS the legal backing that will empower it to create the necessary awareness of the social and individual levels," Mr Prah said.

The conference, the first to be hosted by a West African country and the third time for it to be held in Africa was under the theme: "Promoting Land Administration and Good Governance." 10 March 06