The Second Ghana Land Administration Project (LAP) 2 has held its 2012 Annual Review conference at Sogakope in the Volta Region.
Anchored on the theme, “Decentralising Land Administration Services for Wealth Creation’, the confab was generally to review the activities and policies of LAP-2 in 2012 and outlined the way forward.
Addressing stakeholders and participants, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Alhaji Inusah Fuseni emphasised that land and property were generally the major assets in any buoyant economy and expressed Government’s determination to pursue the objectives set out in the National Land Policy to reform land administration in the country.
He said the persistent public outcries on bureaucratic hurdles and long documentation periods that potential developers and investors went through to get their lands registered was unacceptable as the Ghana Shared Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy primarily was to reduce poverty and partner the private sector for phenomenal growth in all sectors of the economy. Adding that, investors, both large and small needed assured rights to the land and property in which they invested.
He lauded the activities of LAP2 and said, “It is noteworthy that the Land Administration Project has placed great emphasis on addressing this nagging issue of institutional bottlenecks and lack of adequate decentralistion. He added that it was heartwarming that the objective of the Project Component 2 had been dedicated to institutional reform and reengineered business processes to ultimately achieve transparent, efficient and effective delivery of land administration that would ensure needed customer satisfaction”.
The Hon. Minister however, lamented on how the country’s land tenure and land use planning in the midst of abundant land resources had become one of the banes in the socio-economic development. This, he explained was due to the large number of unregistered land rights, unplanned settlements, high rate of encroachments on state lands, increased number of land litigation as well as the obnoxious activities of land guards which pervaded land administration system.
He therefore charged the National Coordinating Unit of LAP2 not only to provide the necessary mechanisms but also time-tested solutions to government to address those challenges.
The Minister disclosed that in addition to the 5 million dollar funding support from the World Bank, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), had provided a grant of 3 million Canadian dollars for the Project and urged Implementing Agencies to use the fund judiciously.
In his Review, the National Project Coordinator, Dr. Isaac Bonsu Karikari indicated that despite the challenges faced by LAP in 2012, it has made strides at the preparation of a National Spatial Development Framework as well as the modernization of survey and mapping which will aid effective spatial planning and land registration processes.
He said the Project had also made progress in the efforts at computerizing land information systems to support the Judiciary in the establishment of land courts as ssswell supporting some communities in the Accra Metropolitan Assembly in a street naming and House numbering exercise.
Expressing his view on the way forward for LAP-2 at the 2012 review, Dr. Bonsu noted that LAP-2 was a medium to change the face of land administration in the country and that there was the need to make the Regions work through its structures by setting up Regional LAP Secretariats with all the resources to deliver in order to deepen the decentralization concept of the Project.
In his remarks, the Technical Director in charge of Lands at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Hamidu Baryeh, reiterated the need for the country to have a vigorous land administration and management system and tasked Implementers of the Project and other stakeholders to derive concrete policies on land administration for the rapid economic transformation and development of the country.