ADDRESS BY HON. MINISTER OF LANDS AND NATURAL RESOURCES, NII OSAH MILLS AT THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE CLIENT SERVICE ACCESS UNIT (CSAU) OF THE LANDS COMMISSION
ADDRESS BY HON. MINISTER OF LANDS AND NATURAL RESOURCES,
NII OSAH MILLS AT THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE CLIENT SERVICE ACCESS UNIT (CSAU) OF THE LANDS COMMISSION IN
ACCRA ON WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 28, 2015
Hon. Greater Accra Regional Minister,
Deputy Ministers of Lands and Natural Resources,
Chairmen and Members of the National and Regional Lands Commissions,
Members of the National Project Steering Committee of LAP,
Country Director of the World Bank and other Development Partners,
Country Director of the Department of Foreign Trade and Development of Canada,
Chief Executive, Accra Metropolitan Assembly,
Directors of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources,
National Project Coordinator - LAP 2,
Heads of Land Sector Agencies,
Friends from the Media,
Distinguished Invited Guests,
I consider it a great honour and a pleasant duty to be part of this historic exercise today, a ceremony to formally launch the operations of the Client Service Access Unit (CSAU) of the Lands Commission in Accra.
The official launch marks a significant milestone in the land administration reforms being undertaken by the Government and is in line with Government’s strategy and effort towards streamlining the land service delivery system in the country. Indeed the journey has been long, but worth it.
As part of the strategic interventions to improve the land administration system in the country, the Government conceived a 15 to 25 year long-term land administration reform programme under my Ministry to implement provisions of the National Land Policy, which was launched in June 1999.
The aim of the Land Administration Programme is to provide an efficient land management system for food security, human settlement planning, spatial and infrastructural planning and harmonization of the legal and regulatory framework on land, based on an efficient, transparent decentralized and sustainable land administration system.
Further, the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA)’s medium-term policies and strategies for transparent and accountable governance strategy identifies the urgent need for efficient and effective land administration system in the country.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
With the support of our Development Partners, particularly the World Bank, the first phase of the Land Administration Project was launched in 2003. It laid the foundation for the implantation of a sustainable, decentralized land administration system that is fair, efficient, and cost effective and ensure security of tenure.Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and for that matter the Government, considers LAP as a major catalyst in the efforts at achieving poverty reduction and sustainable development.
One of the key achievements of LAP I was the establishment of a new Lands Commission following the passage of the Lands Commission Act, 2008 (Act 767). The Act made four previously independent land sector agencies namely Survey Department, Land Valuation Board, Land Title Registry and Lands Commission, divisions of the Lands Commission.
These new divisions are the Survey and Mapping Division, Land Valuation Division, Land Registration Division and Public and Vested Lands Management Division.
Even though it was intended that the newly created Divisions of the Lands Commission, would work seamlessly as one unit, this has not really been the case, and the Divisions have continued to operate independently. Therefore to ensure that the Lands Commission operates as a corporate whole, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, through the Land Administration Project II (LAP II) has supported the Lands Commission to reengineer the business processes of its Divisions to deepen the institutional reforms that commenced under LAP I, (thus bringing the Divisions closer).
The reengineering process has culminated in the establishment of the Client Service Access Unit (CSAU), which is going to operate as the Front Desk of the Lands Commission. The expectation of Government, investors and the general public is that the CSAU will reduce the administrative bottlenecks and public frustrations, promote quality land service delivery and help improve the image of the Lands Commission as an agency that delivers reliable and timely land services. In other words, the public expect from the Lands Commission improved quality land service delivery, more customer-friendly service and a shorter turn around time in service delivery.
Distinguished Invited Guests,
The Re-engineering of the business processes and the implementation of the CSAU was undertaken by staff of the Lands Commission without any external consultancy. This is most commendable. Please join me to congratulate the staff and management of the Lands Commission for this achievement.
However, we should not lose sight of the fact that the sustainability of the operations of the CSAU is a fundamental challenge that must be addressed with all seriousness. In this regard, I will expect the Lands Commission to submit a comprehensive Action Plan on how they intend to sustain the CSAU and to extend its operations throughout the country.
In addition to the introduction of the Client Service Access Unit, the Ministry through the support of our Development Partners, has made considerable achievements in the transformation of the land administration system in the country. These include:-
•The preparation of the National Spatial Development Framework (NSDF) by the Town and Country Planning Department, to guide the overall socio-economic development of the country as expressed in spatial terms.
The NSDF document is serving as the spatial component of the long term National Development Plan being prepared by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).
•In addition to the NSDF, the project supported the Ministry of Environment, Science and Innovation (MESTI) to complete a new Land Use and Spatial Planning Bill, which has been approved by Cabinet for consideration by Parliament.
•In June this year, I cut the sod for the commencement of a new office complex for the Land Sector agencies in Kumasi.
This new office complex seeks to deepen the integration of the land administration system by bringing under one roof, the Lands Commission, Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands (OASL) and the Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD) in Kumasi.
When completed in the third quarter of 2016, the building will not only provide an improved working environment for the staff but will also enhance accessibility of land administration services by the public but will also provide space for the establishment of a Client Service Access Unit (CSAU) in Kumasi and its environs.
Distinguished Invited Guests,
The interventions in the land sector by the Ministry are not limited to the formal sector alone.
•At the customary level, the Ministry is supporting the establishment of Customary Land Secretariats (CLS) to improve land management and administration of land held by stools, skins, families and clans at the local level. So far twenty (20) Customary Land Secretariats have been established throughout the country under LAP II, and thirty (30) more are to be established by the end of 2016.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate the commitment of my Ministry to the transformation of the land administration system of the country. As such the Ministry will keenly follow the operations of the CSAUs.
I would like to thank all the Implementing Agencies and allied bodies, Directors and Staff of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Project Specialists for championing the cause of LAP and for working assiduously to meet Project objectives.
I take this opportunity to also thank our Development Partners, especially the World Bank and the Department for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada, for partnering us to bring our land administration system up to international standards. We cherish our partnership with you. Let me reiterate that Government is totally committed to the ideals of LAP and will continue to support its implementation and I do hope that we can continue to enjoy this support and cooperation in years to come.
On this note, Distinguished Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I hereby declare the Greater Accra Regional Client Service Access Unit duly launched.
I wish to remind management and staff of the Lands Commission that the formal launch of the CSAU should among others bring visible changes in staff attitude to work and service delivery.
I wish to thank you all and may the Almighty God bless us all.