A 19-member reconstituted National Lands Commission was inaugurated in Accra yesterday.

The Commission, appointed by President Kufuor and chaired by Eustace Nii-Amah Kumi-Bruce, is tasked to manage public lands on behalf of the President, formulate land policies to support national development and advise the government, state institutions and traditional land owners on land management practices.

It will also advise government on land titling throughout the country and grant certification to stool land transactions.

Members of the Commission are from the National House of Chiefs, the Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen, Town and Country Planning Department, Ministry of Lands, Mines and Forestry, the Ghana Bar Association, the Ghana Institution of Surveyors and the Environmental Protection Agency.

There are also representatives, each from the ten regions of the country.

Inaugurating the Commission, the Minister of Lands, Mines and Forestry, Esther Obeng-Dapaah, charged the members to fashion out pragmatic policies and procedures to address pertinent problems affecting the land sector.

She expressed regret that notwithstanding the enormous benefits that can be derived from the land resource, it is rather plaqued by a lot of setbacks.

Some of these setbacks, she mentioned, include unhealthy competition for land resulting in multiple land sales by unscrupulous landowners, encroachment on public lands earmarked for important national projects thus compromising their implementation, protracted inter and intra family disputes and unauthorised and haphazard developments resulting from non-adherence to planning regulations.

She equated land administration and management without the supervisory role of the Commission to an engine moving at half throttle and called on them to live up to the confidence reposed in them.

Mrs Obeng-Dapaah said the country stands to benefit immensely from harnessing the various uses of land as well as the investment potential that goes with it.

She further charged them to ensure that policies formulated will assist in the delivery of excellent services as contained in the citizens charter.

In his acceptance speech, the chairman for the Commission, Nii-Amah Kumi-Bruce, thanked the President for the confidence reposed in them.

He said the task ahead was a daunting one but promised that the Commission would be up to it.

“We will make use of different shades of experience from members to improve upon the public image of the Commission,” he said.

The minister later administered the official oath of allegiance and oath of secrecy to the members.

Source: The Ghanaian Times