Stool lands administrator opens Western North office
The Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands (OASL) has inaugurated its regional office at Sefwi Wiawso in Western North to enhance its operations.
The office has been digitalised for better service delivery.
The creation of the regional office is in line with Regulation 2 (1) of the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands (OASL) Regulations 2019, LI 2377 and in furtherance to the creation of six new regions.
Inaugurating the office, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio, said the importance of the services of the office to the people could not be overemphasised.
The services of the office, he mentioned, included collection of stool lands revenue, disbursement of stool lands revenue and account to beneficiaries, and consultation with relevant public agencies, stools and traditional authorities.
Mr Owusu-Bio said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, upon assumption of office, fulfilled his promise of creating new regions to bring government machinery closer to the people.
“Further to that and in accordance with Regulation 2 (1) of the Office of the Administrator of Stool Land Regulations, 2019, LI 2377 which provides that ‘the minister shall, in consultation with the Administrator, establish, where necessary, regional and district offices in consultation with the district chief executives concerned’, it became necessary to take steps to establish a regional office of the OASL in the Western North Region,” he said.
He said the OASL had done well since its inception in optimising the mobilisation of customary land revenue to alleviate poverty in stool land-owning communities, ensuring accountability and good governance in stool land revenue collection, usage and disbursement, and providing an adequate and capable workforce to support the office's operations.
Mr Owusu-Bio said for over 25 years, the OASL had been reliable in that regard, and that was evident in how the revenue raised, over the years, had been used by metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies in development projects such as the construction of schools, CHPS compounds, markets, and community centres, among other things.
“Traditional authorities have also been observed using their share of stool land revenue for community development, such as the construction of libraries and setting up scholarship schemes for their subjects. All of this is possible because of your hard work as an agency, for which I applaud you,” he added.
The Paramount Chief of the Sefwi Wiawso Traditional Area, Katakyie Kwasi Bumagama II, appealed to the government and the ministry to restore the authority of traditional leaders so they could watch over the forests and other natural resources.
He said without such authority, they were handicapped, and could not act and bring to order persons engaged in illegalities.
“You have made us handicapped to the issues of land and other resources. Please, let the President know that he should give us back our powers to be the overlords that we used to be, and these issues will die off,” he said.