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Regional Lands Commission Instituted

2007-07-17 21:27:10
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Rita Tani Iddi
The Upper East Regional Lands Commission has been inaugurated at Bolgatanga, with a call on members of the body to initiate effective programmes to ensure sanity and transparency in lands administration in the Region.

The members, made up of traditional rulers and officials of public service delivery agencies were also tasked to ensure easy accessibility of land towards the development of the Region.

Ms. Rita Tani Iddi, the Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, who made the call, urged the Commission to apply the Alternative Disputes Resolution Mechanism and the Land Deed Registry in resolving land disputes.

She noted that the fragmentation of land holding due to population increase discouraged investors from investing in the Region.

Ms. Iddi reminded the Commission that it was mandated to guide government, local authorities and traditional authorities on policy framework for the development of lands to ensure that the development of lands conformed to development plans.

Ms. Iddi urged the members to provide information on land tenure systems in the Region towards the final draft of the Land Bill for consideration by Parliament.

She said the Government was committed to ensuring that more investors invested in the country to help create more jobs.

Ms. Iddi, however, said without easy acquisition of land, it would be difficult for the country to attain economic development.

Alhaji Awudu Yerimeah, the Deputy Regional Minister, said even though the launch of the Commission was a constitutional requirement, it was part of government efforts to decentralise lands administration in the country.

He said it also demonstrated that the Government was committed to ensuring that the people participated in the governance of the country.

Alhaji Yerimeah blamed poverty in the Region on improper use of land and the nature of land policies and land management during and after the colonial era.

"Past practices in terms of the mode of acquisition of land and payment of compensation have fragmented certain communities and deprived them of their most valuable land resources.

"You have a responsibility to advice government on measures that would ameliorate the negative fallouts from these past actions, but also in designing new approaches that do not lead to such outcomes", he emphasised.

Alhaji Yerimeah asked the Commission to educate land owners and land users on the advantages of registering with the Lands Deed Registry.

Mr. Mosobilla Kpaama, Chairman of the newly constituted Commission, said the members would work hard to achieve its objectives.

source: GNA

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