In line with Article 258 and 260 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, which mandates the Lands Commission to open regional offices nationwide, it has inaugurated offices in Savannah and North East regions respectively.
The offices were furnished with computers and digitalised, to speed up the processing of land documents and other essential services.
So far, the Commission has established offices in all the six newly created regions including the Western North, Oti, Ahafo and Bono East regions.
Mr Alex Quaynor, the National Chairman of the Commission, inaugurated the Savannah Region’s office at a colourful ceremony at Damongo.
In an address, Mr Quaynor explained the mandate of the Commission, noting that, it was supposed to manage public lands and other lands vested in the President.
“Land is a strategic asset which forms the basis of every developmental activity, hence there is the need for formal land administration to promote development at all levels,” he stated.
The creation of the regional offices, Mr Quaynor said, would enable the Commission to advise local assemblies and traditional authorities on the government’s policy framework to promote regional development.
“Land administration services such as survey and mapping, valuation of property, rating state land acquisition, Land management and registration are critical services that help to promote socio-economic growth.
He cautioned landowners against multiple sale of lands and other fraudulent activities that resulted in protracted litigations.
That, he said, scared investors and deprived the community of the needed development.
The new Land Act, Mr Quaynor explained, mandated stools, skins and families who own lands to establish Customary Land Secretariats, to enable them to document land transactions, and work closely with the Lands Commission and the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands for technical advice.
Mr Saeed Muhazu Jibril, the Savannah Regional Minister, in his remarks, thanked President Akufo-Addo for creating six new regions and providing the requisite administrative infrastructure to ensure a smooth running.
He recalled how residents living far away from the regional capital in the past travelled long distances to Tamale to access land services at the Commission’s office.
He said, in view of the seriousness of land issues in the Savannah Region, the Coordinating Council worked closely with the traditional authorities, particularly the Yagbonwura, to acquire a three-acre piece of land for the Lands Commission to build an office and staff accommodation.
He urged the indigenes who would work at the new office to remain resolute in order to surmount all the challenges, saying; “Every new beginning is difficult, but someone has to sacrifice for others”.
He assured the Commission of the Regional Coordinating Council’s support to ensure smooth provision of land services in the region.
Mr Benjamin Arthur, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Commission in charge of Operations, said the new regional offices were furnished with digital equipment and, therefore, urged the people to embrace the opportunity.
The Commission’s team paid a courtesy call on the Yagbonwura, the Gonja King.
They thanked him for his support and for providing a piece of land for the new offices.