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General News of Thursday, 26 August 2021

Source: Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources

You'll be jailed 15 years for encroaching on state lands - Deputy Lands Minister warns

Benito Owusu-Bio and his entourage during the inspection Benito Owusu-Bio and his entourage during the inspection

The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Lands and Forestry, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio, on Wednesday, 25th August, 2021 led a team from the Ministry and the Lands Commission to inspect some State Lands, particularly Amrahia Dairy Farms, sandwiched between the La Nkwantanan Madina and Adenta Municipalities.

Addressing the media at the Dairy Farms where this inspection took place, the Minister disclosed that these lands were acquired in the 1960s mainly for agricultural and dairy purposes. However, due to low investments, the lands have been left to fallow and encroachers are taking advantage of the situation to steal these lands.

Following this development, the inspection saw an immediate demolition of some buildings and walls beyond the boundary belt, built to protect the land and also the arrest of a self acclaimed surveyor who was spotted on site. 

This action, the Deputy Minister said will serve as a deterrent to cease further encroachment on the State Lands. He also sent out a strong warning, stating emphatically that per the new Land Act 2020 (1036) , issues pertaining to land encroachment will be dealt as criminal cases with the culprits  immediately arrested and jailed for a period of 15 years.

As a word of advice to the public the Deputy Minister added "Not all lands must be built upon, some must be left for vegetation and posterity" He then urged District Assemblies and chiefs to desist from helping the citizens indulge in this act but rather aid government fight against encroachment on State Lands. On this he said " The law is no respecter of persons so wether a an ordinary citizen, a chief or even a minister like myself will be arrested and jailed"

On his part, the Dairy Farm Manager, Mr. Seth Frimpong, pointed out that over 150 acres of land have been encroached upon out of the total a of 1,381 acres and called for an immediate government intervention to salvage the remaining lands.

Accompanying the Deputy Minister who embarked on this inspection on behalf of the Sector Minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor was the Acting Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Mr. James Ebenezer Dadson.