Ghana Beyond Aid won't succeed if we fail to address land title bottleneck - Veep

Ghana Beyond Aid won't succeed if we fail to address land title bottleneck - Veep
Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com |Abubakar Ibrahim |abubakar.ibrahim@myjoyonline.com
Date: 13-02-2018 Time: 05:02:50:pm

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said Ghana will not be able to move beyond aid if land title issues are not tackled.

He said there is so much land for which people cannot extract any equity out of it because there is no proper title to it.

"That cannot and must not continue. We have been living with this problem in Ghana for years but we are not changing it. It is time for us to change the system.

"We cannot accept the status quo, and the directions of the President are clear: we have to bring change to this whole process of the acquisition of land," he said.

Dr Bawumia said this when he paid a surprise familiarisation visit to the offices of the Land Registration Division of the Lands Commission in Accra, Tuesday.

His visit is ahead of a conference slated for February 28, to familiarise himself with their operations and discuss their challenges.

He said government will this year begin the process of streamlining the process of land acquisition, valuation and records consolidation as part of measures to move Ghana beyond aid.

Among other intended measures, plans are advanced to begin the process of digitising all land records in the country, a major intervention designed to reduce the turnaround time for land registration.

The move is also to eliminate corruption while a land reform conference bringing together all stakeholders in the land acquisition and management sector is slated for the end of February 2018.

In January this year, the Lands Minister, John Peter Amewu, summoned and charged all 10 regional land officers and their board chairmen to have a change in attitude to end the chaos in the country.

He said a concerted effort to improve the system from those in charge of land administration will earn the country a well-deserved recognition worldwide.

Mr Amewu tasked them to ensure matter to do with land is done in a transparent and coherent manner to realise the 30-day turn around over land registration.

The Minister who received a copy of JoyNews Hotline documentary; Land Wars, last year disclosed there have been lots of complaints following the documentary.

The Hotline Documentary captured in graphic details the challenges bedevilling Ghana’s land administration with its attendant problems with land guards.

Reacting to the issues of lands, Dr Bawumia said "in many countries, land is key in the development of the country (but) in Ghana land is not part of the process in many cases, and that does not allow the development of the mortgage market. 

"So we have come here to familiarise ourselves with the processes, and to discuss some of their challenges.”

He expressed particular worry at the conditions at the records department of the Land Title Division, and the seemingly disorganised manner of the land management process.

Consolidating all such records, Dr Bawumia added, would facilitate the development of the mortgage market and make it easier to undertake land ownership searches.

He said discussions would also be held with the Chief Justice to find ways to address the many conflicting judgments issued in different courts on land issues, the Vice President indicated.

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