The Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission has lost 300 of its core staff through retirement, resignation and death since 2011 without replacement.
The situation is affecting income generation of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies where these technical staff serve as property valuers for levy of property rates.
The Deputy Director of Human Resources of the Lands Commission, Nana Obeng- Mensah Okogyedom brought this to the fore yesterday when the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John-Peter Amewu, interacted with staff and management of the commission as part of his familiarisation tour of the agencies under the ministry .
Nana Obeng- Mensah said 20 per cent of the personnel of the division were non-staff who did not have the requisite qualification to fill in the human resource gap.
He therefore pleaded with the government to facilitate recruitment to boost the human resource base of the division and revenue mobilisation drive.
Mr. Amewu said in as much as they needed resources to work, it behoves them to account for high productivity.
He urged staff of the Commission to reduce the turn around time in land title registration to 30 days from the more than one year period it takes one to register a title to land.
Mr. Amewu said reduction to turn around time for land title registration was an important manifesto pledge the government was committed to resolving to boost investment inflows into the country.
The minister called for a stop to the “aggressive drive for public land” at “ridiculous prices”, saying that when that continued there would be no land for investment by the future generation.
Mr. Amewu deplored the attitude of some staff of the Commission who deliberately “sit on documents” to slow land title registration.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Wilfred Anim-Odame, appealed to the government to give 100 per cent retention of the Commission’s internally generated fund (IGF) to improve the financial base of the commission, adding that land administration and management was “very expensive and capital intensive.”
He said as a result of high staff attrition, the Commission currently had immediate need for critical staff such as land administrators, surveyors, lawyers, I.T experts and administrators.
Dr. Anim-Odame added that the Commission was in dire need of computers, survey equipment in large numbers and robust software to facilitate the migration from manual onto a digital platform.
The executive secretary said a number of interventions had been put in place by the ministry through the Land Administration Project (LAP) that had yielded immediate results.
He cited the establishment of Client Service Access Units to provide one stop shop in land administration in Accra, Koforidua, Sekondi-Takoradi, Tamale and Bolgatanga for the first time in the history of the country.
The minister’s entourage included the Chief Director, Professor Bruce Banoeng- Yakubu, Alhaji Sulemana Mahama, Technical Director in-charge-of Land, Mr. Simon Atebiya, Technical Director in-charge-of Mines and Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio, Member of Parliament for Atwima-Nwabiagya, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Lands and Forestry.
By Salifu Abdul -Rahaman