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Regional News of Friday, 30 April 2004

Source: GNA

Government to make land administration simple - Fobih

Swedru, (C/R), April 30, GNA - Professor Dominic Kwaku Fobih, Minister of Lands and Forestry, on Friday charged land administrators to find solutions to land problems that seemed intractable. He said under the current Ghana Land Administration Project (LAP), Government intended to totally overhaul all complex legal issues to make the administration of land very simple.

Professor Fobih was speaking at the first Land Policy Steering Committee meeting at Swedru in the Central Region.

The Committee comprises high-level representatives of diverse governmental and civil society stakeholders in the land sector that have the responsibility of providing overall policy guidance and advice to the Ministry of Lands and Forestry.

The Committee would among other things ensure that the proposed land sector policy and legislative and institutional reforms are widely debated by all stakeholders throughout the country.

Prof. Fobih said the country needed to decisively deal with the myriad land policy matters that seemed to defy remedy and had serious implications for the country's sustenance, development and investment. He said statistics available indicated that there were several and varied land issues before the courts adding; "this staggering lot need to be cleared to free land for purposeful economic use".

Prof. Fobih said the Ministry had been taken to task on a number of occasions for its inability to ensure timely processing of land documents to encourage investors into the country. He noted that the country had a land title registration process that had not made any impact even though it had been in operation since 1986.

Daasebre Osei Bonsu, the National House of Chiefs' Representative on the Committee, said chiefs in the country supported the new land sector policy review.

He called on the Government to ensure that landowners were given the first option to acquire lands that had been acquired by the Government but had not been used for a long time.

In addition, Daasebre Bonsu, who is the Omanhene of Asante Mampong, asked for the settlement of all outstanding compensations for lands acquired by Government at current bank rates.

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