The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Collins Dauda, has appealed to the law courts to speed up land dispute cases before them to help restore sanity in land ownership in the country.
According to him, the delay by the courts in dealing with land cases had led to an upsurge in land guards created by factions involved in the various land disputes to protect their lands till the final determination of the cases.
The situation, he said, had eroded investor confidence in the country.
He, therefore, appealed to judges sitting on land cases in the country to dispose of them as quickly as possible to bring law and order into the sector.
Alhaji Dauda made the appeal when he inaugurated the 29-member Brong Ahafo Regional Lands Commission, under the chairmanship of the Omanhene of the Sunyani Traditional Area, Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawiri II, in Sunyani last Tuesday.
Other members of the commission are the Omanhene of the Techiman Traditional Area, Oseadeeyo Akumfi Ameyaw IV, and the Omanhene of the Sankore Traditional Area, Nana Yaw Adusei II. They were sworn into office by the Supervising High Court Judge in Sunyani, Mr Justice Francis Opoku.
Alhaji Dauda called for attitudinal change on the part of the staff of the Lands Commission to ensure the successful implementation of the new land reforms aimed at making the process of registering land and other related issues stress-free for all Ghanaians.
He said with the new land administration reforms in place, it was expected that the commission would reduce the bureaucracy, inefficiencies and frustrations in land administration, adding that anything short of that would defeat the good intentions of the reform.
He announced that the new Lands Commission Act, 2008 (Act 767) passed by Parliament in 2008 mandated the commission to oversee all matters relating to land administration and management in the country.
He added that with the new reforms, the Survey Department, the Land Valuation Board, the Land Title Registry and the Lands Commission Secretariat had been merged and a new Lands Commission with four functional divisions, namely, Survey and Mapping, Land Registration, Land Valuation and Public and Vested Lands Management, had been created.
He, therefore, tasked the commission to work hard to complement the efforts of the government to deliver on its mandate to the people as well as help remove all the bottlenecks associated with land administration in the country that had impeded national development.
Alhaji Dauda announced that the government was considering de-vesting some of the vested lands in the Brong Ahafo Region to the various stools and, therefore, called for the collaboration of the commission.
He gave the assurance that if the reasons for vesting were no longer valid, the government would not hesitate to de-vest the lands.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo in his address, expressed the hope that with the inauguration of the Regional Lands Commission, all matters relating to land disputes in the region would be resolved amicably to ensure the orderly development of the region.
Nana Nkrawiri, on behalf of the members, thanked the President for the confidence reposed in them and pledged to live up to expectation.