Mr John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has said the challenges of the land sector needed to be addressed for Ghana to realise the goal of becoming a major business destination.
Mr Amewu said it is the dream of President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo to make Ghana the becoming the gateway for business in Africa and confronting the challenges in the land sector would also pave the way for the implementation of many of the government flagship programmes such as the ‘One Village, One Dam’, ‘One District , One Factory’, ‘the Planting for food and Jobs’, the Coastal, Middle Belt and Northern Development Authorities , road, railway and telecommunication infrastructure .
Mr Amewu said this when he inaugurated the Upper East Regional Lands Commission at the Regional Coordinating Council in Bolgatanga.
He urged the 20-member Commissioners to work hard to help address the challenges in the sector to realize the set targets.
Mr Amewu said the myriad of land litigations among different parties at the courts, traditional authorities participating in multiple sales of lands, falsification of land records in different public agencies and the high cost of survey charges are some of the factors which discourage owners from doing proper documentation.
Other challenges, he said, were encroachment on public lands, delay in processing land documents and registration of lands.
He said poor inventory of lands that were acquired by the Government in the past has made many clans and communities to lay claim to such land and thereby encroaching on them.
He said some of the lands with encroachment concerns include the key ministries areas, the residencies and some agriculture investments like the Tono and Vea Irrigation projects, road reservations, schools and hospitals among others in the region.
Spelling out some of the duties of the Commissioner, the Sector Minister said they were expected to manage public lands and any other lands vested in the President by the constitution on behalf of government and advice government, local authorities and traditional authorities on the policy framework for the development of particular areas of the country.
They are also expected to formulate and submit to government, recommendations on national policy with respect to land use suitability and capability and assist in the execution of a comprehensive programme for the registration of title to land throughout the country.
Mr Rockson Bukari, the Upper East Regional Minister, also appealed to Commissioners to sensitize communities on the implementation of government flagship programmes adding that “it is becoming very difficult to acquire land for the implementation of the programme and for development”.
Mr Stephen Ntim, the National Coordinator of the Commission, assured the Commissioners that government would provide the needed the resources and logistics to ensure that they work to achieve the target.
Mr Jonathan Agme, the Chairman of the Upper East Regional Lands Commission, on behalf of his colleagues, thanked Government for the confidence reposed in them and pledged that they would work hard to help government accelerate development.