The Acting Northern Regional Stool Lands Officer of the Office of Administrator of Stool Lands (OASL) Mr. Franklin Obiri has called on Traditional Rulers and other stakeholders in the land sector to embrace the concept of establishment of more Customary Land Secretariats (CLS) at the local level as a key to Ghana’s Land Reforms.
He said the OASL under the phase II of the Land Administration Project (LAP-2) with support from the World Bank and CIDA, has a mandate to create awareness, educate and assist the various traditional councils to establish CLS as well as carry out Customary Boundary Demarcation (CBD) so as to avoid land disputes and alleviate poverty in the country.
Mr. Franklin said this at a day’s sensitization workshop in Salaga in the East Gonja District of the Northern Region to educate Chiefs, Queen Mothers, Heads of Department, Assembly Men, Opinion leaders and other stakeholders on the objectives of LAP-2 in respect of strengthening the existing CLS and the creation of more as well as embarking on boundary demarcation upon request by the Traditional Authorities (TAs).
He said the CLS, if managed well will not only ensure proper records of land are kept and prevent multiple sales of the same piece of land to two persons or more but will as well ensure that revenue generated is used for developmental activities at the local level.
He told participants to take advantage of the establishment of CLS which is demand driven in order to enjoy the Customary Boundary Demarcation which aims at preventing boundary disputes for the peaceful growth of the nation.
Briefing participants on the expectation of LAP-2,the Northern Regional Communications and Public Outreach Officer for LAP-2 Mr. Saaka Ahmed Mustapha said the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has the over all responsibility to ensure the implementation of 15-25 years Ghana Land Policy Reform that was inaugurated in 1999
He said the policy was implemented in 2003-2010 under LAP-1 which paved way for institutional reforms and undertaking pilots on a number of initiatives such as Customary Boundary Demarcation, establishment of Customary Land Secretariats, Digitizing Land records among others.
He disclosed that the Second Phase (LAP-2) aims at consolidating the gains made in LAP-1by deepening the reforms, enabling the Land Sector Agencies to be more responsive to clients, cutting down the cost and time of doing business and providing an efficient and transparent service delivery.
His Eminency the Kpembewura Abukar Nechobore II used the occasion to thank LAP and OASL for establishing a Customary Land Secretariat in the Kpembe Traditional Area and that the CLS would be given the needed support so as to provide an efficient and effective service delivery to the people of the area and Investors both home and abroad.
A similar sensitization workshop was also held for the people of the North Mo Traditional Council in Bomboi as well as Bole Traditional Area under the auspices of OASL –Tamale ostensibly to educate them on the objectives of LAP-2 on CLS and CBD
In all the three communities namely Salaga, Bomboi and Bole, participants were given the chance to ask questions bordering their minds on land which included questions on gender mainstreaming from Queen Mothers. Officials from LAP, OASL and Lands Commission took turns to provide the appropriate responses.