Parliamentary Select C’ttee on Land, Forestry engages stakeholders on Land Bill

Mr John Peter Amewu,Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.PARLIAMENT’S select Committee on Lands and Forestry yesterday in Accra engaged stakeholders in the country’s land administration space on the Land Bill.

 

The bill is aimed at revising and consolidating the more than 166 land related laws of the country into one document to ensure sustainable land administration, effective land tenure and efficient surveying and mapping regimes and to provide for related matters.

 

The meeting was used to collate inputs from experts in land management ahead of its presentation to Cabinet.

 

Present at the meeting which was held at the Justice D.F. Annan Auditorium in Parliament were officials from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Licensed Surveyors Association of Ghana and the Ghana Institution of Surveyors.

 

Others are Civil Society Coalition on Land, State Housing Company, the Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana and Women in Law and Development in Africa.

 

The 273-clause bill is the outcome of reforms which were introduced in the land sector as a result of the implementation of the 1999 National Land Policy.

 

Among other things, the bill discusses customary land management, transfer of interest, land registration and acquisition of land by state.

 

The draft bill also takes into consideration ‘landguardism’, protection of Zongo lands, a direction on how foreigners could own land and protect the areas of common use like parks, as well as provisions to deal with spousal ownership of land.

 

Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, addressing the participants urged them to ensure that the national interest superseded any other consideration in their analysis of the bill.

 

According to Mr Amewu, the picture about Ghana’s land administration regime was not a pleasant one and that everything possible was needed to be done to sanitise the situation system.

 

He described the situation in the land sector as “hopeless” and expressed government’s preparedness to reform the land administration sector.

 

Ranking Member on the Committee, Alhaji Collins Dauda, MP, Asutifi South, described land administration as “central to the development of the country” and asked the experts to avail their knowledge to transform land administration in the country.

 

Chairman of the Committee, Francis Manu-Adabor, MP, Ahafo Ano South East, speaking with the media said the bill would be laid in the House during the next meeting which commences in May and would be passed before the life of this Parliament expires in January 2021.

 

He could not vouch for the total elimination of ‘landguardism’ but was hopeful the bill, if passed and enforced would reduce the menace and multiple land sales.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

 

 

 

 

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