The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, says the ongoing implementation of the digitalization of records at the Lands Commission is to among others promote transparency and inject a high level of efficiency in the services delivery of the country.
The Minister said this when he led a team from his Ministry to appear before the Public Account Committee (PAC) on Tuesday 15th March, 2022 to respond to urgent infractions relating to some activities of the Lands Commission and Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands which are entities of the Ministry.
The Minister admitted to some challenges at the Lands Commission saying “the biggest issue we have at the Lands Commission is records keeping, the kind of records that we churn out so that if you conducted a search at one division at Lands Commission you get one results, go to another division you get a different results and of course the whole concept of title being indefeasible.”
He further added that “we want to implement a program for the digitalization of the records of the Lands Commission because we have assess the situation and are of the firm and emphatic conclusion that it is the only way of restructuring Land Administration which will be fit for purpose.”
The Member of Parliament for Damango maintained that Land Administration in Ghana must be properly structured and that’s why government is implementing a way to get the Lands Commission to respond to the daily requests and offer adequate and timely land administration services to the Ghanaian people in a more transparent manner.
“We are working to structure the digitalization of the records of the Lands Commission to improve the lands service delivery in the country as we seek to completely overhaul the operations of the Lands Commission which formerly operated in a manual system,” he added.
The Minister further stated that the problem of land administration in Ghana is systematic and government is determined to make land administration in Ghana fit for purpose.
Adding to the response by the Sector Minister on the concerns raised by the Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George, regarding multiple land registration at the Lands Commission, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. James Dadson said the Lands Commission is currently holding a retreat at GIMPA to address some of these challenges.
“We have operated a typically manual system over a very long time and some of the records are not easy to be retrieved which can also result in multiple registration.”
Mr. James Dadson further explained that “sometimes we have a situation that owners of land engage in multiple sale so it’s not just multiple registration but a lot of it is also multiple sale of land.”
He further indicated that the solution to these challenges is to ensure that stakeholders work to reform and automate all the land records as pointed out by the Minister to ensure the uniqueness of all parcel of land.
The Administrator of the Office of Stool Lands (OASL), Surveyor Mrs. Maame Ama Edumadze-Acquah responding to a question posed by a member of the Committee, on why legal action hasn’t been taken by OASL with regards to rent defaulters, opined that based on ACT 481 that govern their operation, they are unable to take legal action against rent defaulters .
She was, however, quick to add that her office is working closely with the Sector Minister to review the ACT accordingly.
Answering a question on why Farm Rent Collectors delay in lodging revenue to the OASL account, the Administrator said the challenge had to do with the remote nature of some areas which made it difficult for the collectors to lodge monies in the account but said with this infractions, the management of OASL has introduced the Mobile Money (MoMo) concept to help obtain these monies on timely basis.