The Lands Commission has advised land owners and the public to desist from engaging people whom it described as ‘agents’ and seek advice from the Office when registering their lands.
“We are sensitising that land owners and prospective land owners who want to register their land, go through the right process, they should engage the rightful people at the Lands Commission,”
Mr Jonathan Kobla, the Upper East Regional Lands Officer of the Lands Commission who gave the admonition said such a move would deal with illegal land registrations and prevent people from falling prey to fraudsters.
“Our challenge is where agents come between the Lands Commission and the public, where they intercept documents and demand large sums of money in the name of registering their documents but at the end of the day the documents are not registered,” he added.
Mr Kobla was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a sensitisation workshop on land corruption, organised for youth in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII).
The workshop aimed to empower young people with the land administration procedure and the Ghana Land Act of 2020, Act 1036, to help resolve land issues and fight land corruption in their respective communities.
The Regional Lands Officer explained that the land tenure system in the Upper East Region in particular, was complicated and it was therefore appropriate for farm owners and prospective land owners to engage the Lands Commission for advice and registration.
“The ownership style of land in the region is a big challenge, where we may have chiefs, land owners and at a point in time the tindaanas, the traditional care takers of land, as part of parties to land transaction, so we do clear distinction to ensure that we do not record land transaction and at the end of the day it appears it is not coming from the rightful owners,” he stressed.
The Regional Lands Officer noted that the Lands Commission was also sensitizing and taking steps to ensure that their officers abided by the laid down rules and regulations and desist from corrupt activities, adding that the move would help to eliminate corruption from the system.
Mr Michael Okan, the Project Coordinator, GII, said over the years the youth had been relegated to the background in terms of land administration, discourse and fighting land corruption.
He said the workshop was to empower the youth with the necessary knowledge to work effectively with the Lands Commission and other stakeholders, to help provide support to the vulnerable who may face land issues in their communities.
“We also anticipate that the youth will become peer educators in their communities, giving advice and supporting those who don’t have that know-how, including widows and less endowed people and also create an opportunity where youth can take active part in promoting transparency, accountability and integrity in land management,” he added.
Ms Elizabeth Anafo, the Project Officer, Widows and Orphans Movement, expressed gratitude to GII for enlightening the youth in the region to be active participants in land administration and added that it would help ensure justice for the vulnerable.