The Vice President of the Republic, H.E. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has called for a re-examination of land management and use in Ghana in order to add more value to the resource and allow for its leveraging to achieve other objectives.
On its part, Government is determined to digitise the administration of land in Ghana by the end of this year in order to reap the benefits that come with a properly administered land title registration regime.
“There is capital value in land. Let us create a transparent and progressive market for land. Let us securitize it to create wealth. We call on the efforts of all stakeholders to make this happen” Dr Bawumia declared at the opening of a Land Administration Forum in Accra on Wednesday February 28, 2018.
Despite various government interventions, including Phases I and II of the Land Administration Project, the issue of land ownership and use has been a thorny one over the years, bedevilling various governments and usually bringing to a sharp halt any efforts to develop land due to disputes over ownership.
Alluding to the widely acknowledged equity vested in land, Dr Bawumia argues that leaving the land management system to remain in its current chaotic state would be inimical to the Akufo-Addo Government’s desire to move Ghana beyond aid, and informs the decision to digitise land registration by the end of 2018.
The Vice President had announced in November 2017, the commencement of the digitization of land registration processes from 2018, as part of the government’s agenda to remove the bottlenecks associated with registration of land in Ghana.
He followed it up with a surprise visit to the Lands Commission in Accra on Tuesday February 13, 2018, where he urged Directors at the Commission to ensure the project takes off.
Vice President Bawumia bemoaned the indiscipline in the land market, including the “flagrant encroachment of state lands, especially by those who should know better,” multiple land sales, land insecurity and land-guards syndrome, protracted land disputes, and the lack of total digitization of land administration processes.
“Many who want to register lands are often frustrated by complex processes and often needless delays, and corruption in many facets of the land administration system.”
H.E. Dr Bawumia pledged the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government’s commitment “to creating a healthy Land Administration environment that promotes investments in land use and management for agricultural transformation, for housing and for industrial activities.
“It is therefore most imperative that we make the strategic interventions needed in addressing the fundamental issues plaguing the current land administration system, and design a road map for land administration reforms in Ghana.”
The Land Administration Forum brings together key stakeholders in the management of lands in Ghana, as well as experts from outside Ghana, and is expected to come up with solutions geared towards eliminating the bottlenecks in land administration and use.