"Decentralized Land Administration System To Boost Investor Confidence In New Regions"- B. Owusu-Bio
Inaugurating the Ahafo Regional Lands Commission at a colourful ceremony held at Goaso on Thursday, 7th April, 2022, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio asserts that an efficient and decentralised land administration system in Ghana, will boost investor confidence especially in the six new regions of the country.
Hon. Owusu-Bio said the move to establish regional offices for the Lands Commission is in furtherance to article 260(1) of the 1992 constitution which provides "that Lands Commission shall have a branch in each region to be known as Regional Lands Commission for the performance of functions specified in article 258 of this constitution".
He further highlighted some key importance of the Lands Commission in the region saying "Lands Commission here, on behalf of the government, shall manage public lands and any other lands vested in the President by the constitution or by any other law and any lands vested in the commission, advise the government, local authorities and traditional authorities on the policy framework for the development of particular areas of the country, to ensure the development of individual pieces of land coordinated with the relevant development plan for the area concerned, among other important services".
He then opined that the provision of formal land administration services is at the core of every sector of the economy, adding that land administration services including survey and mapping, valuation of property, rating state land acquisition, among others are all critical services that help propel the socio-economic growth of the country.
Hon. Benito believes that the decentralisation agenda of the Lands Commission will ensure that efficient land administration services delivery is brought to the doorstep of every Ghanaian.
He noted that " What is unique about the establishment of offices in the new regions is that the offices will operate in a fully digital environment" which he said will help achieve speed and reduce the usual delays associated with processing of documents in a manual environment.
"The era when applicants have to travel for hours from Goaso, Mimi, Duayaw Nkwanta and others to access land administration services in Sunyani has become a thing of the past and thus, the unofficial cost associated with it will now reduce drastically".
Nana Ansah Adu Baah, the Omanhene of Yamfo, who also doubles as the President of the Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs expressed delight for the honour done him and for the opportunity given him to steer the affairs of the inaugural ceremony.
He described the importance of land as a valuable asset of every community and nation and therefore expressed his joy to see such development in his community and submitted to the Chiefs and the people of the Goaso traditional area to come together and work collaboratively with the new officers of the Commission for the development of Goaso and the entire Ahafo Region.
"Lets work together to ensure that those disputes that comes with land administration are not associated with us. I am particularly happy about this development and I hope we for our own it for our progress"
The Nana also expressed his sincerest gratitude to the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for keeping his promise to equipment the new regions with all necessary tools to function.
The National Chairman of the Lands Commission, Mr. Alex Quaynor in his remarks said the purpose of the Ahafo Regional Office is to ensure that residents are drawn closer to government in the administration of their Lands.
He said per the New Land Act, Act 1036, government requires that all land owners register their Lands through the proper process and therefore hoped that the residents of Goaso and for that matter Ahafo Region will take advantage of this opportunity and do the needful for utmost development.
He noted that the establishment of the new office requires that the staff of the Commission will be up and doing to ensure land administration services are carried out professionally.
"As pioneers, the new staff posted here, we expect that you work hand in hand with the traditional authorities and the land owners for a peaceful land administration here in the Ahafo Region"
Mr. Quaynor also respectfully requested that Nananom and the family land owners also remain patient with staff members of the commission as they begin their operations in the region and also corporate with them.
The Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Mr. James Dadson in his speech indicated that the newly commissioned office is the first of it's kind in the Ahafo Region while disclosing that two offices have already been inaugurated in the Western North Region and the Oti Regions, making this the third in the row among the six new regions.
He assured the Chiefs and people of Goaso that Ahafo Regional office will fully serve the purpose for which it was established.
"This is a public office and we will do everything to ensure that land administration here is carried out effectively and efficiently and so please Remember that we are here to serve the public and that is our number one goal" He stressed.
Mr. Dadson also hoped that the neighbouring Regions will support their "new baby" office to function successfully and thanked the Bono Regional Lands officers for holding the fort till the formal inauguration of the new office.
Below are some pictures:
Story by: Nadia Aidoo