Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has called on all stakeholders to rally together to ensure that adequate resources are channelled towards the Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036) for its effective implementation.
He said despite the coming into force of the law, it was its application and effective implementation that would result in the desired changes in the land sector.
Citing a provision in the Land Act that eminent chiefs, clan and family heads, who are the custodians of approximately 80 per cent of the land area of Ghana, were required to establish Customary Land Secretariats to improve the management of their lands, he said, the absence of technical and professional assistance from the Lands Commission and other agencies would be an impediment to the realisation of that objective.
Dr Bawumia was speaking in Accra yesterday at a day’s national symposium on the Land Act, 2020.
It was organised by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in collaboration with the Lands Commission.
The new law on land administration, he explained, had been passed to revise, harmonise, and consolidate laws on land to ensure sustainable land administration and management.
He said land administration in Ghana was characterised by various challenges and bottlenecks despite policies and regulations developed in the past.
To address these critical challenges in the land sector and to optimise the contribution of land to the socio-economic development of Ghana, he stated that the government was committed to change through the application of technology.
As part of the new measures, Dr Bawumia said Electronic Conveyance, which could only be realised by establishing a robust digitised land sector agency, had been incorporated in the Land Act.
“Ghana can only make the much-needed strides in development when technology becomes the driver for all sectors of the economy.
Therefore, as part of the digitisation agenda of the Government, I have established in my office a Liaison Unit which is fervently working to assist the Lands Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in expediting the digitisation of its processes,” he stated.
He called for the participation of the private sector to ensure injection of capital and technical know-how in targeting specific key improvements in the infrastructure and operations of the Lands Commission.
He urged all participants at the symposium to make meaningful inputs in the discussions to ensure the effective implementation of the new Land Act.
Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, said the event was the beginning of a comprehensive programme to disseminate the Land Act through more focused discussions on regional basis, involving key stakeholders such as the National House of Chiefs, built environment professionals, the Ghana Bar Association, utility agencies and the academia.
He called for the co-operation of the Judiciary, in enforcing the provisions of the law, particularly the range of offences introduced by the Act, which hitherto were not known to our land laws.
The Ministry, he noted, would not hesitate, and would co-operate with the relevant law enforcement agencies, to deal with public officials and private persons whose actions or inactions impeded effective land administration and disrupt ownership and use rights to land.
The Minister noted that the Lands Commission was in the process of digitising land administration in Ghana, adding that the government intended to partner with the private sector to raise required capital and technical expertise to undertake this massive transformation.
“It is government’s aim, to reduce the time for registration to a maximum of one month, and this will be possible if the records of the Lands Commission are digitised,” he stated.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS