Volta Lands Commission charged to protect govt lands

BY: Mary Anane-Amponsah
Members taking the oath of secrecy
Members taking the oath of secrecy

Twenty-four new board members of the Volta Regional Lands Commission have been sworn in to oversee the prudent management of land resources in the region and reforms in land management.

Article 260 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana gives impetus to the establishment of regional lands commissions across the country. 

The mandate of the lands commission includes the provision of advisory services to the various assemblies and traditional authorities for the efficient management of land resources.

Boost public confidence

The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, who delivered a speech on behalf of the sector minister, charged the new members to execute their duties to satisfaction in order to boost public confidence in the Lands Commission and land sector.

He said that the Government of Ghana, under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had given much focus to the land sector, hence the championing of digitisation of the lands commission.

Mr Owusu-Bio noted that as the region was endowed with numerous natural resources, there was the need for them to be harnessed for the benefit of future generations, which meant that the interest of land owners, including the government and investors, should be well secured.

He urged the members to uphold Article 260 of the Constitution, which mandated the establishment of the Regional Lands Commission to institute a board to provide advisory services to the commission.

"It is a call to serve the region, hence the efficiency with which you discharge your duties will manifest in your effectiveness. Therefore, put in your maximum efforts to ensure that the needed reforms are executed," he added.

Partnership

He called on them to nurture the newly created Oti Region with regard to land issues until it attained its maturity and stands up to the task to help the government to address challenges such as encroachment of state lands, assemblies allocating state lands without reference to the lands commission, outstanding compensation payments and the unavailability of offices to accommodate the various divisions of the lands commission.

"I am optimistic that with the land administration reforms, you will be provided with the assistance to resolve all challenges during your tenure. The ministry will partner the commission every step of the way," he added.

The Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, assured the inaugurated regional lands commission of his support, adding he would ensure that there was sanity in the sector.

The Deputy Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Mr Benjamin Arthur, said the commission would provide the necessary support needed to ensure that the board conformed to the new Land Act.

The Chairperson of the newly inaugurated commission, Mama Dzidoasi I of Gbi Abansi, Hohoe, expressed gratitude to the government for its bold decision to institute a commission to manage lands and to oversee its sustainability in the region.

"We, the newly appointed Volta Regional Lands Commission, pledge together to leverage our various expertise to ensure a functional board that works in unity and harmony towards the achievement of the overall objective of the Lands Commission," she stated.

The supervising High Court Judge, Justice John Boadi, swore-in members of the newly inaugurated Regional Lands Commission.