The Acting Executive Secretary of Lands Commission, James Kobina Dadson says measures had been put in place to address bottlenecks hampering effective land administration and management in the country.
He said part of the measures being taken include decentralization, digitalization, staff capacity building, infrastructure development, and adoption of best practices such as operationalization of site-plan and addressing challenges regarding compensations.
The Executive Secretary was speaking at a closing ceremony of a five-day management retreat in Accra organised by the Lands Commission under the theme: “Achieving Institutional excellence land services delivery through modern technology, human resource development, and private participation.”
Mr. Dadson expects that the outcomes of these reforms would result in a total transformation of land service delivery by the Commission.
“Initially, we are talking about digitalization as the government’s main focus but we have gone beyond that. We are looking at total reform of our sector and digitalization is key. One of the elements that we are embarking on, we have operated in a typically manual environment, and we are migrating our records from manual to digital.”
According to him, land can be registered in the same region that it was acquired, adding that by the next 12 months, the Commission’s district office in Tema will be fully operational.
He said the chiefs and the traditional authorities manage over 80 percent of all the lands in the country, but “we are only doing the registration on their behalf.
And so occasionally we embark on public education campaigns, we go to the house of chiefs, now that we have a new land Act we started having sessions with the various Houses of Chiefs, engage other stakeholders including the media.
The Executive Secretary added that every region has a commission and the board has a representative of the regional the House of Chiefs who reports and sends feedback to the chiefs.
He also refuted the allegation that the Commission is the cause of many land disputes in the country, explaining that if Teshie in Accra registers a land and neighboring community, La goes to court and secures judgment in its, the Commission cannot be blamed for it.
The Deputy Executive Secretary of the Commission, Jones Ofori Boadu also blamed part of the land problems on the country’s outdated map, which has been in use since 1974.
“It is part of the problem we are facing in managing our lands in Ghana. If you don’t have to date map every record on land sits on the map. The map is the base on which every record sits. So if you don’t have to date map, then it translates to the incurrent of some of the records.
“So that is why it is very critical to have up-to-date maps because whatever we have on paper should relate to exactly whatever is on the ground. And if you don’t have that you always have over lapses and you will always have disputes when it comes to land administration.”
He also said part of the reforming ongoing is the engagement of the Price Waterhouse Coopers to look at the financial capacity of the Lands Commission.
Story by:Kwaku Stephen