Professor Dominic Fobih, Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, on Friday asked members of Ashanti Region Lands Commission to address problems of delays in the processing of documents, rampant encroachment on public lands and the use of unapproved development schemes.

He said these practices posed a challenge to efficient and effective land administration, management and orderly development of towns and cities in the country.

Prof. Fobih made the call when inaugurating a 13-member Ashanti Region Lands Commission to renew its mandate for four years in Kumasi.

He noted that by dint of hard work and enforcement of the relevant laws and legislation, the incidence of these constraints and problems would be eliminated.

Prof. Fobih stressed the need to re-orient mentality of the staff to be aggressive to reduce corruption and other vices in land administration.

However, he reminded the members to maintain sound and cordial relationship with traditional authorities and other stakeholders to ensure positive impact on their performance.

“It would be suicidal if you ignore their views and sentiments before decisions are taken. I would therefore admonish you to co-operate effectively with stakeholders particularly the Golden Stool and its occupant, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II whose wisdom when tapped would immensely enhance your performance,” he added.

Prof. Fobih urged them to intensify public education on the Land Administration Project whose implementation would address most of the constraints and challenges facing the land sector.

Mr Emmanuel Asamoah Owusu-Ansah, Ashanti Regional Minister, was optimistic members of the Commission would prove equal to the task and discharged their duties with transparency, honesty, impartiality and in the best interest of the region.

He asked them to work hard and be committed to sustain the confidence institutions and authorities they represented had reposed in them.

Mr Owusu-Ansah noted that despite the importance of land in society, its acquisition and use had generated the most controversial and contentious issues in the region and Ghana, adding; “Some chieftaincy disputes have their causes deeply rooted in land ownership.”

“It is sad to note that often communities were pulled apart, in some cases lives and properties were lost through protracted land litigation.

“The Commission should devote its attention to address factors that led to land disputes to instill sanity in land use issues in the region,” he added.

Mr Kwame Agyapong Boafo, Chairman of Ashanti Region Lands Commission, pledged to work assiduously to discharge their duties and constitutional mandate with renewed vigour.

He suggested that Government lands and plots within Ridge and bungalows in Kumasi should be re-demarcated to create more plots for development.

Mr Boafo said the tract of land around Cadbury Hall in Kumasi should be well utilised.

Source: GNA

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