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Business News of Thursday, 26 September 2019


‘Enforce rules on building permits’ - Lands Commission to MMDAs

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The Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Alhaji Sulemana Mahama has tasked the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to enforce rules and regulations clamping down on activities of developers who have not acquired the necessary document to build.

According to him, enforcement of the law is an integral aspect to end issue of land litigation in the country but their inability to enforce rules and regulation makes it impossible to stop people from building at unauthorized places.

Given that, he stated that it requires a collection effort between the Lands Commission, MMDAs and the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority to address the issue of building with either fake or wrong documentation.

Alhaji Mahama says a good coordination between the Lands Commission and the MMDAs will ensure some decency in ways buildings are put up.

He was speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the fifth National Development Forum organized by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) which discussed land governance in Ghana and the prognosis for Ghana’s land use and spatial planning.

Delivering the keynote address, Professor Seth O. Asiama of the Department of Land Economy at KNUST, called for the taxation of all unoccupied lands to help in achieving social justice.

He noted that many individuals have bought vast pieces of lands for years without developing them and was of the view that tax imposition would disincentivize people from acquiring lands across without developing them.

Professor Osiama also called for a review in the land ownership system saying “we cannot develop as a country if we continue to manage our land system where 80% of our lands are in the custodies of stools and lands”.

In her welcome address, Professor Emerita Takyiwaa Manuh, Vice Chairperson, NDPC, observed that the Commission recognizes land as a critical governance issue and a resource of great importance.

She also stated that the country’s development efforts, such as provision of infrastructure, housing, food security, water, energy and the sustainability of natural resources, have a clear connection to land.

As Ghana pursues its vision of becoming a solidly developed country at 100 years, she said it is crucial to promote good land governance and ensure the effective management of land, property and natural resources.