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The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel A. Jinapor, has given the assurance that the far-reaching measures being implemented by the government in the land administration space will result in an efficient land administration system in the country.
Taking his turn at the Ministry of Information’s press briefing on Tuesday, 28 September 2021, Mr Jinapor said the government, upon assumption of office in 2017, embarked on a drive to reform land administration in the country.
The primary objective of the reformation drive is to digitalise land administration and promote efficiency and productivity in the space, he noted.
The minister highlighted some of the digitally-driven initiatives introduced by the government to remove the bottlenecks, which, hitherto, served as an impediment to the smooth administration of lands in the country.
He said the government wants to institute measures that will ensure that from the comfort of people’s homes, they can access their land records via their mobile phones.
“We are taking far-reaching measures when it comes to land administration in the country”, he noted.
For instance, Mr Jinapor noted, “since 1974, Ghana has not had spatial marking”.
“We do not even have the contours of landed property in our country so the Lands Commission itself does not have records of various lands across our country. The implications of this are enormous”, he said.
“The Vice-president chaired a meeting on the whole purpose of digitising the economy and everything and it became apparent that if we are not able to digitise the records of the Lands Commission, we will not have proper spatial mapping, which is fit for purpose. All other digitisation across the spectrum of our economy will be impossible. So, this is one of the things we are seeking to do. We are digitising and digitalising the works of the Lands Commission to bring the commission up to speed and make it fit for purpose”, he added.
The other leg of the ministry’s responsibility in land administration is the protection and recovery of state lands.
Mr Jinapor noted that the protection of public lands is a matter that ranks highly on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s list of priorities and will resort to any legal means possible to protect state lands.
He emphasised that the government has a ‘fiduciary duty’ to protect the lands for future generations.
“We’re going to take an inventory of all public lands of our country and have a register for all public lands in the country. We are going to do it in such a way that from every part of the country, you’ll be able to know that this or that parcel of land belongs to the state.”
He further disclosed that in line with the dictates of the new Lands Act, the ministry and relevant agencies are working on recommendations for the ‘de-vesting of vested lands’.
He also charged staff of the Lands Commission to discharge their duties in line with the laws that concern their office.
Mr James K. Dadson, the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, provided education on the mandate of the commission and gave further information on some of the issues touched on by the minister.