Source:savannanews24.com: Sayibu Abdul Jabaru Zamani:
The Minister of Lands and Resources, Hon Lawyer Samuel Abdulai Jinapor has inaugurated the Lands Commission Board for the Northern Region in Tamale.
Twenty-three (23) members of the board were sworn in by His Lordship Justice Richard Mac Kogyapwah, a Tamale High Court Judge.
The composition of the Regional Lands Board in accordance with law consists of the Chairman and representatives from various sectors within the region including the Regional House of Chiefs, each District Assembly, Town, and Country Planning, Ghana Bar Association, Ghana Institute of Surveyors, National Association of Farmers and Fishermen and the Regional Lands Officer.
Inaugurating the Board at the Regional Coordinating Council Conference Hall, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister urged the newly constituted Lands Commission Board to work very to ensure that Lands Commission succeeds in its mandate.
According to him, the Lands Commission Board is one of the most important constitutional bodies in the country and the inaugural ceremony comes at a time when the Northern Region is faced with a myriad of challenges in land administration due to the rapid development of the Tamale metropolis and the increasing demand for land in the region.
“As one of the fastest-growing cities in West Africa, the demand for land for residential, industrial, commercial and agricultural purposes will keep soaring, and it behooves on the Regional Lands Commission to put in place the necessary measures to ensure that the reasonable expectations of investors are met”. He noted
He added that the ease of access to land, security of tenure and prudent and judicious use of the land is key to the socio-economic development of every nation.
Hon Lawyer Jinapor said, the fast-growing nature of the Tamale metropolis and its environs imposes a heavy task on the Regional Lands Commission and therefore reiterated that, the Lands Commission’s work with relevant bodies will ensure that access to land does not become a hindrance to the development of the Northern Region.
“Mr. Chairman, the consequences of ineffective, fraudulent, and weak land administration are dire, As I have forcefully submitted, they are arguable, equal to, if not worse than the adverse of consequences of illegal mining. But there is no gainsaying that the administration of the land over the years has been bedeviled with a lot of challenges. Haphazard development, weak institutional capacity, fraudulent and transactions, multiple sale and registration of land, are just to mention a few of the problems that confront the land administration in Ghana”. He said
“Fortunately, this commission comes just after the passage of the Lands Act, 2020 (Act 1036), a comprehensive law that revises, harmonizes, and consolidates all existing laws on land for sustainable land administration and management and effective and efficient land tenure”. He added
Hon Lawyer Jinapor noted that, the Act which was passed after two decades of broad and holistic consultations gives the Lands Commission a good foundation for effective land administration.
“It must be your guiding document and you must ensure that all the provisions in this law are implemented to the latter. And this can only be achieved if all the stakeholders are conversant and understand what the law requires of them. Education on this law in the region should therefore be your priority. As most of the lands here are owned by the skins and families, the establishment of Customary Land Secretariat must be of great importance to you”. He urged
He emphasized that, the Commission is enjoined by the Act to collaborate with the Administration of Stool Lands to ensure the establishment of these Secretariat for each skin, clan or family that owns the land, saying “This is, undoubtedly, one of the surest ways of dealing with the challenges of land administration”.
The Damongo Legislator said, the Commission will be expected to put in place measures to ensure that government achieves its aim of reducing the turnaround time for the registration of land to a maximum of thirty (30) days. “At the national level, we are in the process of implementing a major digitization programme, to digitize all the records of the Lands Commission, as a step towards achieving this turnaround time”.
He said, the government is engaging the private sector to provide the capital and technical expertise to implement the scheme.
Alhaji Sulemana Mahama, Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission urged members of the Northern Regional Lands Commission Board to bring their expertise on board to ensure that the policies and programmes for an effective land administration system in Ghana are successful.
He urged members to be guided by the new Land Act (Act 1036) to provide the right services to the Ghanaian public and other stakeholders.
Alhaji Mahama said, under the Act, land mismanagement is a crime and punishable by law thus members must ensure fairness and transparency in the administration of land.
The Board Chairman of the Northern Regional Lands Commission, Lawyer Dubik Mahama Yakubu in his remarks thanked the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon Samuel Abdulai Jinapor for the opportunity to serve mother Ghana.
He said, the members of the Board have distinguished themselves in various fields of endeavors will bring on board their expertise to ensure that they succeed in their mandate.
Lawyer Dubik urged members to work together for the collective good of the country, “we need the assistants of all members and we have to work together to achieve”.
He assured the Minister of the newly constituted Board unflinching support and work closely with the Ministry to ensure that land administration policies are followed and implemented to the latter.
The Lands Commission Board Chairman thanked the three Overlords of the three Northern Regions and all stakeholders who over years have been very supportive of the commission.