The new board of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUSPA) has been entreated to initiate measures that would ensure the judicious use of land and the sustainable development of human settlements.
It has also been tasked to collaborate with its stakeholders to help address the challenges of unplanned settlements, poor housing and poor access to social and infrastructural services due to rapid urbanisation.
Inaugurating the 17-member board in Accra last Thursday, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, explained that the setting up of the board formed part of the transitional processes from the defunct Town and Country Planning Department to LUSPA.
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“The growing population in Ghana, coupled with urbanisation and the high inter and intra-regional migration, has contributed to an increase in demand for land in the country,” he said.
He added that the high demand for land had resulted in land use and acquisition challenges, such as the high price of land, proliferation of individual and real estate private developers in urban areas; land litigation and very limited security of tenure, all of which, he said, undermined local and international investor confidence.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng submitted that while urbanisation was critical to national development, the prevailing rapid urbanisation with its effects of unplanned settlements posed a major risk to sustainable livelihood and national development.
He said it was in that light that the government was charging the board to collaborate with its stakeholders to help the land use and acquisition menace in the country.
Members of the board, chaired by Prof. Kwasi Kwarfo Adarkwa, a former chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, include Mr James Ebenezer Kobina Dadson, a representative of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources; Mr John Obeng Asiedu, a representative of the Ministry of Roads and Highways, and Mr Seth Osei Akoto, who represents the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Others include Ms Christine Okae Asare, a representative of the Environmental Protection Agency; Dr Winfred Kwabena Anim-Odame - the Lands Commission; Mrs Christie Esi Bobobee - the Administration of Stool Lands and Mr Otchere Kwame B. Awuah, a representative of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).
Other members are Nii Kinka Dowuona, a representative of the traditional authorities; Mr Alfred Kwesi Opoku, a representative of the Ghana Institute of Planners; Mr Jonathan Zinzi Ayitey, a representative of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors, and Mr Joseph Emmanuel Hayford, representing the Ghana Institute of Architects.
The rest are Ms Celestina Allotey, a representative of the Ghana Institution of Engineers; Mr Lawrence Zineh Dakura, the Chief Executive Officer of LUSPA; Mr Sylvanus Kofi Azornu, a representative of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and Ms Salamatu Abdulai-Salem, the Chief Director of MESTI.
On behalf of the board, Prof. Adarkwa thanked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the confidence reposed in the members and pledged to discharge their duties with due diligence.