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General News of Wednesday, 29 November 2000

Source: GNA

Chiefs misappropriate revenue

Some paramount chiefs in the Brong Ahafo, are misappropriating stool lands revenue meant for their divisional chiefs. Mr Patrick Amoah, Regional Stool Lands Officer, said by law, the Stool Lands Administration deals with paramount chiefs and pays revenue due traditional authorities through them.

"It is the loophole inherent in this administrative arrangement that some paramount chiefs in the region are exploiting to the detriment of the divisional chiefs under them."

Amoah was addressing members of the Regional House of Chiefs at Sunyani, as part of a programme by the Regional Lands Commission to interact with stakeholders to enhance land administration in the region.

He said a cheque meant for a traditional authority and paid through a paramount chief since last February had not reached the recipient as at last week. "It is important that paramount chiefs reciprocate the trust reposed in them by the Administrator of Stool Lands by forwarding the share of the stool lands revenue to deserving chiefs to forestall recriminations."

Mr Charles Boapong, Chairman of the Regional Lands Commission, said a new policy has been formulated to ensure that chiefs derive greater benefit from lands vested in the state. He said persons granted vested land would be made to pay a specified amount to the stool, in addition to annual rents.

"Capital sum payments on land granted by the Commission in vested land areas have been instituted in addition to annual rents", he added. Mr Boapong expressed the hope that the new policy would assist in improving the financial position of stools with vested lands.

The Regional Chairman appealed to the chiefs to co-operate with the Commission to ensure smooth administration of stool lands, he said adding that the "rampant encroachment on government and public lands and general abuse of planning schemes due to the engagement of unqualified surveyors and planners are some of the problems that should be solved.

" Mr Ibrahim Baryeh, Regional Lands Officer, said the Commission has co-opted personnel of allied agencies to ensure a more comprehensive approach to land administration in the region and urged them to contact the Commission with their land problems.