Government pledges to resource land agencies

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Tuesday said government would resource all land agencies with personnel and logistics to operate effectively and render efficient services to the public.

He said there was the need to streamline the valuation of property, digitisation of property, searching of land documents and consolidation of land records.

Vice President Bawumia said this when he paid a surprise visit to the Land Title Registration Unit of the Lands Commission at Cantoment in Accra, to familiarise himself with land registration and acquisition processes.

The Vice President was received and taken round the various units of the Lands Commission by Mrs Yaa Agyeman Boadi.

Addressing the media after the familiarisation tour, Vice President Bawumia observed that, land registration was a big challenge in the country, with many people going through a lot of frustration in acquiring lands.

“We have been living with this problem in Ghana for years, but we’re not changing it, therefore there is time for us to change the system and not accept the status quo,” he stated.

The Vice President said people faced a lot of frustration in acquiring lands coupled with multiple sale of lands resulting in protracted court litigations.

He said land was a key component in the development of many countries around the world and Ghana needed to streamline her land acquisition processes in order to take advantage of the mortgage market.

“About 70 per cent of lands in Accra did not have land titles and it would be difficult to get mortgage financing without land title and about 50 billion equity stuck in lands,” he observed.

He said government, under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, would like to streamline land registration and land acquisition processes to ensure efficient delivery of services.

“If you go to the Records Department, there is not enough space to keep the records and they don’t have those records in digital form and finding someone’s file would take you up to a month to find.

“And sometimes because of misfiling, the records cannot be found and so we have to change the process and that is why we are taking the whole issue of digitising our land documents in Ghana very seriously,” he emphasised.

Vice President Bawumia disclosed that, on February 28, this year, government would bring all the key stakeholders in the land sector in a forum, to take important decisions to change the system and noted that, the Survey Department and Land Title Registration units, which were currently segregated, should be consolidated to ensure efficient service delivery and help the mortgage market to develop.

He said government would hold consultations with the Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo on conflicting judgments on certain land cases and strategise to get the conflicts resolved.

Dr Bawumia hinted that, by 2019, all land agencies would move to one spacious area in view of the poor working environment they were currently operating in.

He said Ghana cannot move beyond aid if land registration challenges persisted and there was the need to tackle the challenge head-on.

Source: GNA

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