Friday, September 21, 2007
Chief speak against reckless land sales
By: CLEMENT ATAGRA PEGGY , RUBY MENSAH
A traditional ruler has expressed concern over the increasing incidence of the reckless sale of lands by his fellow chiefs and clan heads.
Nana Ansah Sasraku III, Mamfehene and Kyidomhene of Akwapem said that land is man’s greatest asset and heritage and so custodians should protect it.
“Increasingly, some of our chiefs, clan and family head, principal members of our families, some genuine and many fake, are disposing of lands anyhow for short term monetary gains”, he complained.
Nana Sasraku, who is also a professional Estate Manager said this at the Annual Seminar of the General Practice Division of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors (GH.I.S.) in Accra on Wednesday.
The two-day seminar is under the theme, “Land, our Asset and Heritage”.
He suggested that rather then sell lands outright, they should invest them in feasible business opportunities such as real estate development.
“I understand fully that we all have immediate needs which one must satisfy by we must not do so in ways that will create social tension and economic crises in the future”, he said.
“The social tension and discontent that we see in our youth in some parts of the country should call us to sit up and do something about this phenomenon”, he added.
Nana Sasraku also noted with concern the high fees charged in land transactions which, he said, often scare people away from formalizing their lands.
He called for closer collaboration between the government, traditional authorities and professional bodies to address the myriad of problems, particularly, on the need for an efficient and effective land administration and management.
The Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Esther Obeng Dapaah, appealed to the General Practice Division of the institution to collaborate with other divisions of Gh.I.S. to make a representation to her Ministry on practical ways of operationalising various government land policies.
She said her Ministry will also support the institution to make a strong case for the passage of the Real Estate Brokerage Bill into law.
Ms. Depaah emphasized the importance of the involvement of traditional rulers in protecting lands in the country since about 80 per cent of lands in Ghana are held in trust for the people by chiefs.
She said the introduction of the Lands Commission Bill is an effort by government to merge institutions in the sector to streamline land administration in the country.
The President of the institution, Mr. Samuel Ofori-Offei, who chaired the programme entreated members of the Gh.I.S. to support it to enable it to lift the image of the Institution.
Mr. James E.K. Dadson, Chairman Practice (GP) Division, Ghana Institution of Surveyors, said that, Land is an asset of enormous importance for billions of people and that pressure on land is set to increase over the years.
He said that the key factors should be issues on access to land, security of title, access to credit and capacity building all within and acceptable environmental regime.
The Ghanaian Times - Friday, September 21, 2007 Page: 4