President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has warned public institutions to refrain from dealing with, granting or allocating public lands without his express approval through the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.
He underlined that, in accordance with the precepts of the Constitution, all public lands were vested only to the President and managed by the Land Commission, so that any situation contrary to this legal provision would not be taken into account.
“It is important to note that no public land is devolved to a government institution, as this would be contrary to the precepts of the Constitution,” he stressed when he inaugurated the National Land Commission of 32 members in the Jubilee House, Accra.
“Public lands allocated to government institutions therefore remain public lands, vested in the President and managed by the Commission … institution.”
“No public institution should thus care for, grant or allocate land, without the express approval of the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, acting on my instructions. On days when public lands are literally dissipated without regard for the public interest are gone, ”he said.
Chaired by Alex Quaynor, the members of the Commission include James Ebenezer Kobina Dadson, Secretary; Benito Owusu Bio, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources; Kwadwo Yeboah, Land Use Planning Authority; Henry Kwabena Kokofu, Environmental Protection Agency; Reverend Kwadwo Nkrumah, National Association of Farmers and Fishermen of Ghana; Anthony Forson Jnr, Ghana Bar Association; Jonathan Allotey Abbosey, Ghana Institution of Surveyors; and Nana Osei Bonsu II, National Chamber of Chiefs.
The others are Ms. Ama Kudom Agyeman, Bono East Region, Dr Proper Basommi Laari, North East Region; Alhaji Mohammed Abdul-Haq, Upper West region; Yvonne Odoley Sowah, Greater Accra region; Kofi Dankwa Osei, Easter Region; Mama Dzodoasi I, Volta Region; Nana Obonbo Sewura Lupuwura, Oti region; Kwame Kwasi Danso, Central Region; Dr Osaac Obirim Kofi Sagoe, Western Region; Samuel Kofi Abiaw, Northwest Region; Nana Nsuase Poku Agyeman III, Ashanti region; Nivilas Leni Anane-Agyei, Ahafo Region; Isaac Kwadwo Amankwa, Bono region; Dubik Yakubu Mahama, Northern Region; Dr Alhaji Adam Sulemana, Achanso, Savannah region; and Jonathan Anaboro Angme, Haut-Est Region.
The others, who are all directors of the Land Commission, are Benjamin Arthur, Jones Ofori-Boadu, Yaa Agyeman Boadi, Abdulai Abubakari, Michael Nti Appiah, Eunice Opoku and Akua Afriyie Asubonteng.
Reiterating the importance of land for socio-economic development, President Akufo-Addo noted that all human activities revolved around the land, and therefore, access to land, was the most important factor in the development of each nation.
He told Commission members that their duty to manage public lands was very onerous, and “as stewards of these lands on behalf of the state, you must ensure that these lands are used wisely for the good people of the country. Ghana”.
President Akufo-Addo was not happy that despite various interventions by successive governments, most land administration issues in Ghana persist, including fraudulent sale of land, poor record keeping of the Commission , encroachment on public lands and fraudulent registration. earthen.
He wondered why a piece of land could be registered in the name of different people when the same Land Commission was responsible for the registration.
“Why should documents submitted to the Land Commission, or files, mysteriously disappear when the Land Commission should be the chief custodian of such important documents? Why would it take years to register a single piece of land?
“Our quest to transform our national economy, to bring much-needed development and prosperity, cannot be achieved without effective land administration. We will lose all of our investors if they spend a lot of money on acquiring land as a major tool of production. , to realize that what they have acquired is a dispute that spans years and decades.
“We cannot go on as usual. We must pursue the institutional reforms necessary to anchor an effective land administration. These must include reforms in the staff, processes and working culture of the Commission.” , he told the Commission.
The President welcomed that the Land Law of 2020 (Law 1036), which was passed last year, contains far-reaching provisions which, if implemented, would help Ghana establish a regime. effective land administration.
He told the Commission that it was his duty to ensure that the general public understood and complied with the land law.
One of the main provisions of the 2020 Land Law (Law 1036) is the creation of customary land secretariats responsible for overseeing the management of saddle, skin, family and clan land, restrictions on large-scale alienation of family and clan lands without the consent of the Regional Land Commission, the power of the Commission to survey and demarcate lands, the provision for electronic cession, detailed provisions for the compulsory acquisition of land land, including the payment of compensation, management and use of public land, and provisions for the alienation of devolved land.
President Akufo-Addo urged the Commission to actively pursue the digitization of Land Commission files, as this would enable the country to establish an effective land administration.
“Most of the reforms needed to build an effective land administration will be within our grasp if we manage to move from manual to digital registration… So you have to work diligently to make this digitization program work.
“Our goal is to ensure that the registration of the title takes a maximum of one month, and I dare say, the Ghanaian people will assess the success of your tenure by the extent to which we achieve this goal,” he said. He underlines.
The president told the Commission that the entire nation expects it to reform the Land Commission to render efficient services to the public to accelerate national economic development and find a lasting solution to land administration in the country.
“The people of Ghana have high expectations of you, and you cannot disappoint. I am confident that with the variety of expertise that makes up this Commission, and under the leadership of your experienced and disciplined Chairman, you will work to ensure that we build a land administration we can all be proud of.
“The task ahead is daunting. But with focus, good policies and determination, you can fulfill your mandate,” he said.
Mr. Alex Quaynor, President of the Commission, thanked the President for their appointment and the confidence shown in them.
He assured that the Commission would take the necessary steps to reform the operations of the Land Commission in order to assist the rapid socio-economic development of Ghana.