Lands Commission to roll out registration portal
The Lands Commission is to roll out an online portal for the submission, processing and approval of cadastral plans for registration and other services by the end of the first quarter of this year.
The initiative, which is a collaboration between the commission and the Licensed Surveyors Association of Ghana (LISAG), will make it mandatory for all licensed surveyors to interact with the commission through the portal.
The acting Executive Secretary of the commission, Benjamin Arthur, said the move was part of comprehensive reforms to improve land administration in the country.
“This new process is to ensure that the commission deals only with qualified and certified surveyors and holds them accountable for the services they deliver.
“It is also to introduce more security features on our barcoded cadastral plans and significantly improve the turnaround time for plan approval to one week,” he said.
Mr Arthur, who stated this at the launch of the commission’s strategic business plan and staff awards scheme in Accra, said the procurement of required equipment and logistics had been completed for implementation of the initiative.
The executive secretary further said in collaboration with the National Identification Authority (NIA), the commission would enforce the verification of the identities of guarantors and guarantees through the use of the Ghana Card.
“We may well get to the point of no Ghana Card, no registration.
This will ensure that the commission deals and communicates directly with the guarantees on record at any point in time, and not only through their agents or middlemen,” he added.
A recent UN report on corruption ranked the commission as one of the most corrupt institutions.
The report indicated that "in Ghana, workers of the Lands Commission take the biggest bribe”.
To reverse that trend, Mr Arthur said the commission would also embark on a “You Deserve To Know” campaign to help restore public trust in the land administration body.
Mr Arthur expressed concern that "the hard works of most of the staff of the commission are drowned by the wrongs of the unscrupulous few".
He said the commission generated GH¢206.9 million last year, which was 12 per cent higher than the 2022 figure of GH¢174.1 million.
Revenue from ground rent for 2023 was GH¢30.3 million, an increase of 12 per cent over the 2022 figure.
Mr Arthur said the commission was focused on establishing a more sustainable and robust mechanism to enhance revenue generation from ground rent.
"In this regard, the Public and Vested Land Management Division (PVLMD) has prepared a comprehensive strategy for improved estate management and ground rent mobilisation to properly establish and collect the full potential from this revenue source," he said.
Mr Arthur further said the commission had completed a draft policy for the management of public lands across the country.
He said the policy would guide the procedure and processes for the allocation and general management of state lands.
"Again, in line with the provisions of the Land Act, 2020, Act 1036, and as directed by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, a committee was set up by the commission to make recommendations for devesting of vested lands.
"The draft document has subsequently been submitted to a Ministerial Committee for Devesting, set up at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources," he added.
Mr Arthur also said the commission had developed a five-year strategic business plan spanning 2023 to 2027, which had been approved by the commission’s board for implementation.
The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of land and forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, said land was a crucial resource for national development and the anchor of infrastructure development.