Ghana’s land administration started on a wrong note, the reason for the poor land management system in the country, the Land Survey Division (LSD) of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors (GhIS) has observed.
To this end, the Chairman of the Division, John Acquaah, said it was time they were involved in national planning to correct the defect.
“When it comes to land administration in this country, I will say we started on a very wrong note because the officers working at these land management offices have interests and because of that records are not properly kept,” Mr Acquaah claimed.
“People have properties plotted in their records and when there is a search, you will see that the property is plotted but let someone come with money to claim the land; they change the record in that person’s favour,” Chairman of the Division alleged.
He made this claim in an interview with the Ghanaian Times on the final day of the LSD’s 2021 Seminar in Accra on Thursday.
On the theme “Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036) and the Land Surveyor,” the four-day seminar brought together members of the LSD, a division of the GhIS to deliberate on the Act and how it could be used to address inefficiencies associated with land administration in the country.
The seminar, held virtually, also had members of the Valuation and Quality Surveyors Divisions of the institution.
In the view of Mr Acquaah, the introduction of the Act and its attendant punishment for errant industry players would help address the fraught in the system.
“With the introduction of the Act and the digitisation of the system, we are sure this will be a thing of the past because the Act states that if you are a staff of that management office and you engage in any dubious activity, you are a candidate for jail,” he added.
MrAcquaah, meanwhile said the GhIS was working closely with the Attorney General’s Department to close pages on the Survey Council Bill to be sent to Parliament for consideration and passage.
The Survey Council Bill if passed, Mr Acquaah said would address illegal activities of surveyors, deal with the code of conduct of the profession and also spell out the sanctions regimes.
Underscoring the importance of the land surveyor to proper land management in the country, Mr Acquaah said the land surveyor was the first point of contact in land management.
“Without the land surveyor, no land title can be issued because it is the land surveyor who has been given the authority to go to the ground, do the survey and present a cadastral site plan, so the land surveyor is very important in the land administration chain so we should be pampered so that we do the right thing at all times.”
He advised potential land buyers to follow due procedure in buying a land by involving land surveyors to ensure they were not short-changed in their quest to own a piece of land.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI