In furtherance of plans to decentralize land administration and other related matters, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resource has inaugurated the Eastern Regional Lands Commission.
At a brief yet convivial event held in the Eastern Regional capital of Koforidua on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural, Benito Owuso-Bio unveiled the 39-member commission.
Benito Owusu-Bio in his address reminded the commission members of the task ahead and stressed on the significant role of lands in the economic development of the country.
“The role of land in the economy of our nation is of great significance. Without sound tenure security and appropriate land management principles, there can be no sustainable development as there will be little or no willingness by both local and foreign investors to make long term investments” he said.
Benito Owusu-Bio said that he was not unaware of the challenges in the land administration but challenged the members of the commission to rise above the challenges and execute their duties with finesse.
He apprised the commission of their mandate to protect public lands, ensure smooth handling of land issues and also help in the fight against illegal mining (galamsey).
While commending the outgoing commission for their diligent service to the nation, he is convinced beyond every bit of equivocation that the new members will steer the commission in the right direction.
“I must say that in dealing with these issues, diplomacy and firmness ought to be the key qualities that must be exhibited by this new Lands Commission. I am sure that with the mix in professional backgrounds that you have, you can tackle these problems head-on.
“I therefore charge you to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to further push the fight against activities like “Galamsey” and chain saw operations that have destroyed our environment and many major river bodies and forest reserves and to take stern action against encroachment on 6 public lands to ensure uninterrupted execution of public projects.
“It is also important for the Commission to devise an effective communication strategy to educate the public on the new Lands Act 2020 (Act 1036),” he said.
He concluded with a firm assurance that the Ministry will provide the commission with all the resources and tools needed to achieve their objectives.
In his opening remark, the Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong spelt out some interventions undertaken by the Akufo-Addo government to tackle some challenges in land administration.
“The land administration regime in the country is bedeviled with a lot of challenges and it is the desire of Government to support the Lands Commission to deal with these bottlenecks to make land transactions easy to deal with.
“In this direction, Mr. Chairman, the NPP led Government is keen on ameliorating the challenges confronting the land sector, by “speeding up land services and enhance the accuracy of land certificates and records by investing in turning the Lands Commission into a true digital organization. This will also ensure high standard of land data security and committed to ensuring that turnaround time for land registration is reduced to acceptable time frame,” he said.