Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani
The Lands Commission is unable to deal with issues of wanton encroachments on public lands, frivolous court suits and haphazard development in the country because of the lack of political will on the part of governments to back the actions of the commission.
Alhaji Ibrahim Baryeh, Executive Secretary of the commission, has therefore called on the government to back the commission with the needed political will to deal with the problems that have bedevilled the commission, noting that this is the time to ensure that such unhealthy developments are dealt with to ensure discipline in the system.
Alhaji Baryeh made the call at a five-day annual review conference of the Lands Commission at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region on the theme: “Achieving the Goals of the Citizens’ Charter — A challenge for the Lands Commission”.
The Executive Secretary announced that the commission was preparing for the total computerisation of its operations and had therefore developed a modern Geo-Information Systems (GIS) Laboratory that had been equipped to start scanning all the central records, convert the manual registers into digital formats, as well as purchase a generator to address the frequent power outages that interfere with the commissions’ operations.
Alhaji Baryeh noted that the commission, recognising that dependence on donor funding alone could not completely address key issues confronting it, had decided to undertake a number of projects to support its operations.
These, he said, included funding from the internally generated funds and the construction of deed registries in Ho, Cape Coast, Tamale and Sunyani.
To improve records management at the commission, Alhaji Baryeh disclosed that the commission had contracted the Public Records and Archives Administration Department (PRAAD) to review and upgrade its headquarters filing systems.
Touching on the Citizens’ Charter, the Executive Secretary stated that the commission had set for itself three major objectives in the execution of the Charter instruments.
This, he said, was to ensure quick and efficient service delivery to meet with charter objectives, ensure that complaints about poor services were dealt with in a prompt and transparent manner to the satisfaction of the client and help drive the improvement of service delivery within the commission.
To achieve these objectives, Alhaji Baryeh stated that the commission would focus on staff attitudinal change, improvement in working conditions, effective monitoring mechanisms and computerisation of lands records.
A Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Mr Andrews Adjei–Yeboah in his address called on the management and staff of the Lands Commission to purge itself of all corrupt practices in the delivery of services to the public, which tended to cast a slur on the image of the commission.
According to him, poor information flow, poor staff attitudes, delays in providing services and the perennial accusations of corrupt practices had given the commission a bad image.
“The ministry therefore expects that to clean up this poor image, the commission will fully equip the client services unit and train the staff to provide quality, prompt and efficient services to the public,” he stressed.