ADDRESS BY THE HON NII OSAH MILLS AT THE SOD CUTTING CEREMONY OF THE LANDS COMMISSION OFFICE COMPLEX IN KUMASI
ADDRESS BY THE HON. MINISTER OF LANDS AND
NATURAL RESOURCES, NII OSAH MILLS AT THE SOD-CUTTING CEREMONY FOR CONSTRUCTION OF REGIONAL OFFICE COMPLEX FOR LANDS COMMISSION AND OTHERLAND SECTOR AGENCIES IN KUMASI ON
WEDNESDAY JUNE 3 , 2015.
Your Royal Majesty Asantehene, OtumfuoOsei Tutu IIDasebre Osei Bonsu, Mamponghene/Member National Project Steering Committee of LAP-2
Colleague Ashanti Regional Minister,
Chief Executive, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly,
Nananom and Nana Hemaa,
Commander, Central Command, Ghana Armed Forces
Directors of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources,
National Project Coordinator of LAP-2,
Heads of Land Sector Agencies and LAP-2 Implementing Team,
Friends from the Media,
Distinguished Invited Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to be here this morning, as we perform this short but significant ceremony to formally begin work on the construction of a new, ultra-modern edifice which will serve as offices of the Lands Commission, Town and Country Planning Department and the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands here in Kumasi, the heart of Ashanti.
The choice of Kumasi or Asanteman for the construction of this facility is not by coincidence. Indeed the Ashanti Region has been in the forefront of efforts to streamline land administration in the country, especially through the operations of the Asantehene Lands Secretariat. Furthermore, the region has a well-organized traditional system of land governance under the watchful eyes of the Asantehene, which guarantees land tenure security.
Our land is our heritage, and the source of livelihoods for the majority of our people. It’s the basis of wealth creation and a source of poverty reduction. As a developing country, Ghana relies primarily on Agriculture, Forestry, Mining and lately, oil, for the economic viability and the very livelihood of its citizenry. These activities are all land based, which together provide about 70 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We must therefore ensure that the ownership and use of our land resources result in optimum benefits to the people of this country.
The long-term economic goal of the Government of Ghana is to develop an agriculture and industry driven economy. To achieve this goal, there is the need for an efficient land management and administration system to improve confidence among investors and provide greater security of tenure to all users and occupiers of land. Furthermore, it is necessary to address issues of landlessness and access to land for low income group housing, and to ensure more secure tenancy agreements for the use of land and property.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The afore-mentioned issues call for some institutional reforms and reengineering of the business processes of the leading land sector agencies in the country. It is in this regard that the Ministry sees the provision of modern infrastructure and technologies as critical in transforming the land administration system to ensure accelerated economic growth in Ghana.
Nana Chairman;As part of the strategic intervention to improve land administration service delivery, the Government initiated the Land Administration Project Phase One in 2003 to implement the National Land Policy, which was launched in 1999.
The 15 to 25 year land administration reform programme aims at providing an efficient land management system for food security, Human Settlement Planning, Spatial and Infrastructural Planning, harmonization of the legal and regulatory framework on land, based on an efficient, transparent, decentralized and a sustainable land administration system.
Otumfuo, Nananom and Nanahemaa,
The second phase of the Land reforms, LAP-2, continues to implement several initiatives including pilot customary boundary demarcation, establishment of new Customary Land Secretariats, development of a computerized land information system, support to the Street naming and Property Addressing Project in Accra, the development of the Land Bill to review laws governing land in the country and the development of policies on Survey and mapping.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Two key achievements of LAP 2 are worthy of mention here. In order to address the challenges of spatial planning in the country, especially in the urban and peri urban areas, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, through the LAP, has provided funds for the development of a National Spatial Development Framework (NSDF) for the entire country, by the Town and Country Planning Department. The NSDF provides the spatial framework for the development of the country for the next 20 years (i.e. from 2015-2035). In addition to the NSDF, the project has supported the completion of a new Land Use and Planning Bill, which is currently before Cabinet for consideration. These two key outputs of the project are expected to change the way we plan and develop our cities and towns going forward.
Ladies and Gentleman,
The second major achievement of the project is the introduction of the Client Service and Access Units (CSAUs) of the Lands Commission. The CSAUs, to be launched later this month, will provide clients of the Lands Commission with the opportunity to submit their application on request. Having paid the necessary statutory fees and provided the required information, clients would be required to return at an appointed time for the collection of the results of their request e.g. Land Title Certificates, Search Reports, Maps and Valuation Reports. The CSAU will therefore provide One-Stop-Shop services, where provision of land services will begin and end, reducing the time and cost of land service delivery and sometimes the agony associated with it.
Hon. Ashanti Regional Minister,
This new building will be the first one constructed for the operationalization of the Client Service and Access Unit. It will facilitate the inter-operations of the Nationwide Global Navigation Dateline system into the operations of the CSAU.
I am also happy to note that all issues pertaining to compensation payments for people who were living or earning their sustenance on the land earmarked for the construction have been paid.
In conclusion, Nananom, Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, I wish to congratulate the Contractor, Messrs Jasoung Limited for winning the competitive bid to undertake the construction of the office complex. I appeal to the Contractor and the Consultant supervising the construction, to adhere strictly to the specifications and timelines of the contract. The Government, the Ministry and the people of Ghana look forward to the completion of this office in the 15 months as scheduled.
I will also like to take this opportunity to thank our Development Partners, the World Bank and the Department for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada, for partnering us on this 15-25 year journey to bring our land administration system to international standards. We cherish your partnership. It is my prayer that we can continue to enjoy this support and co-operation in the years ahead.
Once again, I wish to thank you all for your attention and may the Almighty God Bless us All.