Deal with professionals on land issues - Lands Commission urges public
The public has been advised to use professionals in all land-related transactions.
That will help avert many of the issues related to land registration that many people encounter in their bid to legalise their land documents.
The Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, James Dadson, who gave the advice, expressed concern that though there were professionals such as the Ghana Institution of Surveyors, lawyers and people who had been trained in land documentation, the public still preferred to visit the Commission to register their lands.
Mr Dadson, who was speaking at a forum for Editors of media houses in Accra yesterday, explained that such professionals had an appreciation of what should go into a land document, instead of middlemen who only were interested in what they stood to gain.
“The Lands Commission is educating the public to engage individuals and institutions and not goro boys or middlemen that will create problems and take bribe, all in the name of the Lands Commission, even though they may not be part of the Commission,” he emphasised.
The Editors’ Forum is a platform the Commission is using to periodically engage the media to brief them on development within the Commission and its operations as well as solicit their support for their public education campaign.
On land reforms, Mr Dadson said, the Commission was working closely with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to engage experts in the private sector to bring on board both the financing and the technical support.
“We have got approval from the Ministry of Finance to embark on an $85 million project.
For five years, they will work with our staff and train them so that when the project ends, our staff will have acquired the skills to handle the work on their own,” Mr Dadson hinted, saying: “We are going to map the entire country and also conduct systematic titling.”
He also indicated that the Commission had embarked on the digitalisation of its services had been piloting the process in some selected areas.
Mr Dadson said the Commission recognised that the largely manual nature of its work was one of the reasons for the delays in some of their processes, hence the procurement of an equipment to scan and digitise its work.
He emphasised that digitalisation was also to help the Commission to preserve its records as well as the general management of information.
On payment, he said, his outfit was reducing interaction between the public and staff of the Commission as far as payment of fees and charges were concerned.
In that regard, he said, the Commission was also setting up offices to ultimately house all the staff, divisions and records in one building, saying that was intended to reduce the turnaround time for doing business.
Mr Dadson expressed grave concern about the continuous multiple sale of lands due to chieftaincy disputes and indeterminate boundaries, a situation which hampered the work of the Commission.
He thus appealed for more equipment to enhance the work of the entity.
The Board Chairman of the Commission, Alex Quainoo, who was speaking to a research by a United Nations Agency which rated the Commission as the fourth most corrupt institution, recounted some of the measures taken to instil discipline at the Commission.
He called for the support of the public and said usually complainants shied away from assisting with the investigations and that was hindering efforts to deal with perpetrators.
He also stressed the need for continuous education and cautioned the public not to engage any client on the sidelines of the official work.
Cracking the whip
A Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito-Owusu Bio, for his part, said it had come to a point where people must pay the price for their wrongful actions.
He asked the Commission to get rid of the “goro boys,” saying those middlemen could not work in isolation but connived with some staff of the Commission.