What a great landing I have had. The experience has been harrowing, a great torment but the feeling is too good not to share.
When an aircraft safely and softly lands on the tarmac, especially if it has been a turbulent journey, a safe landing gives one joy and relief. It can be stomach-settling no matter one’s faith and belief.
The feeling I have had with 14 years of chasing my land title at the Land’s Commission has been very upsetting. At some stage, I felt like giving up. But how does one give up on a genuine case especially when the evidence available supports a good cause.
Last November 13, I wrote an article in this column about an experience on how as a Ghanaian citizen a simple application for a land title had been so frustrating, dragging for 14 years. A genuine land that was purchased with over a score of former work colleagues had become my nemesis.
I just could not understand what was going on especially when those former colleagues of mine had had their land titles over 10 years ago and some had even finished building. As stated in my article, I had gone through all the processes and ticked off the checks and balances required.
The Commission had done two inspections during the 14 years’ journey. In between, I had built a brick fence wall to secure the land. My immediate neighbours could testify to ownership of the land but all that did not help my cause.
Then finally a call came through at the end of December, a week after one of my persistent calls, that my land title certificate was ready for collection. My excitement was indescribable.
I could not believe what I had heard. Does persistence pay? Had Christmas come too early for me? Had my article in November done some trick or was it just a coincidence? All kinds of questions were running amok in my mind. Finally, the negative thought came, what if someone was just pulling my legs?
No, it was not the time to entertain negative thinking or jokes. I called a day after, asking when I could pick up the document. Any time, I was told.
Whatever it was, I went, penned my signature to some documents, had my national ID photocopied and the long-awaited certificate was finally in my hands. My 14-year-old journey at a public institution like the Lands Commission is something I will not wish even for my worst enemy.
Can anyone imagine what some other citizens have suffered or are suffering at some of our public institutions, be it due to bureaucracy or show of power? There could be many more people who have had to give up legitimate applications such as mine. Some may even have passed on and their toil got snatched by someone else.
How do we then shorten such processes especially in this age of digitisation to make land acquisition in this country as easy and simple as possible?
The experience I have been through has been an age-old frustration that should come to an end in some of our public institutions where officers paid from the public purse are dragging their feet to do their jobs. They end up pilling unnecessary stress all over.
Acquiring land genuinely in this country should not be a frustration. Room should not be created for individuals to do mischief and as avenues to exploit others.
Happily, we have a Minister of Lands and Natural Resources who says that a lot has been achieved in terms of land administration in Ghana and a lot more is being done.
In an interview with the Editor of the Daily Graphic, Kobby Asmah which was published in the Daily Graphic on January 8, 2022, the youngest Minister in President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government said he cannot afford to fail.
According to the Minister, land administration is a major issue for his Ministry and so in that guise, the system for conducting searches for example has been changed and now, “to conduct a search at the Lands Commission will lead one to a one-stop-shop.”
He hinted that digitisation at the Lands Commission was 80 to 90 per cent complete and will soon be launched by the President, adding, “This will see a massive revamp of the infrastructure of the Lands Commission, soft and hardware, which will also see the motivation of the staff of the Lands Commission and the general work ethics in which the Lands Commission conducts its business.”
Welcome to a new Ghana. Good news for land acquisition in this country awaits us.
I have just landed from a turbulent journey through Lands Commission. A journey, never to be forgotten.
The writer can be contacted via email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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