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General News of Thursday, 29 July 2021

Source: GNA

North East needs robust Lands Commission for development – Duker

George Mireku Duker, Deputy Minister for Land's and Natural Resource George Mireku Duker, Deputy Minister for Land's and Natural Resource

George Mireku Duker, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has charged a newly inaugurated Lands Commission in the North East Region to work assiduously to build a robust Commission for the growth of the Region.

“You are expected to fashion out measures and innovative ways of effectively streamlining land administrative procedures in the North East Region for accelerated development,” he said.

Mr Duker urged the Commission to pay special attention to creating the necessary atmosphere for investors in the agricultural sector for food, agri-business ventures, and agro-based industrial activities among others.

This, he said should be in line with the government’s policy on Planting for Food and Jobs, One District, One Factory policy, and also reduce the time for land registration within 30 working days.

Mr Duker, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Constituency in the Western Region, made the call at the inauguration ceremony of the North East Regional Lands Commission at Nalerigu.

“As a new Commission, you must also be fully aware of the numerous initiatives and projects currently ongoing in the Region, and the potentials of the Region in cement production and quarry for the construction industry, to create jobs for the teeming youth in the Region and beyond,” he said.

Mr Duker entreated the Commission to ensure that their functions set out in both the Constitution and the Lands Commission Act were achieved and asked the staff to keep themselves abreast with the relevant sections of all land legislations in Ghana to enable them to discharge their duties effectively.

He said the Lands Commission Act (2008), Act 767 mandates the Lands Commission to advise Government, District Assemblies and Traditional Authorities on policy framework for the development of particular areas in the country.

The Deputy Minister said the Commission was also to ensure that the development of individual pieces of land was in consonance with the relevant development plans for the area concerned.

Mr Duker reiterated the government’s determination and commitment to continue in its agenda to improve the land sector, to make lives much better for the people of the Region and Ghana at large.

“Land remains a key natural resource and asset for the nation. Therefore, the ease of access to land, security of tenure, and prudent use of the nation’s land resources determine to a large extent, the socio-economic development of the country,” the MP said.

He noted that land management regimes in the Northern part of the country was plagued with some challenges including land-related conflicts, haphazard development, weak institutional capacity, perceived corruption and inadequate legislative framework among others.

He told the Commission that they were inaugurated into office at a time when the new Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036) had received Presidential Assent to address the inadequate legislative framework and provide a new direction for the Commission to deliver on its core mandate effectively.

Mr Zakaria Yidana, the North East Regional Minister indicated that the Region with a land size of about 10, 484 square metres required a regulatory body to regulate the land use, and said Lands Commission was, therefore, one of the key institutions the Region yearned for.

He emphasized the need for the Commission to earmark land banks to attract investors into the Region, “As a Regional Coordinating Council, we have initiated the process to develop a Regional Spatial Framework for the North East Region and a structured plan for Nalerigu-Gambaga as the Regional capital.”

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