We will reduce land title registration

John Peter Amewu, Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources has said that his Ministry will work towards reducing land title registration from two years to 30 days.

He said, the process of registering lands was so much embroiled in bureaucracy that it has become a frustrating issue to potential investors.

Mr. Amewu gave the assurance, when he appeared before the Appointment Committee of Parliament to be vetted for his ministerial portfolio yesterday.

He said one of the thorny issues which challenged the ministry in dealing with public lands was the case of having compensation duly paid to the land owners.

Mr. Amewu said the situation has affected the administration of public lands since most of the times traditional leaders come back demanding the return of such lands to them.
The Minister-designate therefore assured the Committee that as soon as he is given the nod to steer the affairs of the ministry, he would complete on inventory of government acquired lands across the country.

He said the ministry would also embark on reconciling figures of compensation paid to land owners to protect such lands from encroachment and those whose compensation have been delayed would also be addressed.

Mr. Amewu said he would also help to streamline the acquisition of government lands, especially to private individuals, adding that where public auction of those lands were required, it would be duly applied for.

He said his ministry would also find means of funding of the 3rd phase of the Land Administration Project (LAP) through a World Bank intervention since the two phases have helped improve land administration processes in the country.

Mr. Amewu said the 2nd phase would wind up in the first quarter of the year, therefore, there was the need to raise between 8 to 9 million dollars to complete the project.

He said Ghana was fast losing its land reserves to unfair and unsolicited land-use practice which had already affected 50 per cent of the reserves.

Mr. Amewu gave the assurance that his Ministry would work vigorously towards afforestation across the affected areas while endeavouring to also plant trees around water bodies to save them from drying up during the dry season.

He lamented the legislation which allows 2 per cent of the reserves to be prospected for mineral mining, adding that such a policy could be reviewed during his tenure.

Mr. Amewu said the government would support the mining activities of small scale miners in order to enhance their operations which constitute about 25 per cent of total mineral revenue of the country while contributing substantially to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

By Lawrence Markwei

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