Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has warned the citizenry against the encroachment of Government lands.
“Let government lands be. We do not want to have encroachers on our lands. It is important that Government lands are left for future work and development,” he said.
Mr Owusu-Bio gave the caution when Mr Henry Quartey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, met encroachers of the remaining 900-acre lands of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Animal Research Institute (CSIR-ARI) to discuss regularisation of the lands.
The engagement was attended by Madam Elizabeth Naa Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey, Mayor of Accra and Mr Mohammed Adamu Ramadan, Member of Parliament (MP), Adenta Constituency.
Also present were: Mr Daniel Alexander Nii-Noi Adumuah, Municipal Chief Executive, Adentan Municipal Assembly (AdMA); representatives from CSIR-ARI, Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUPSA), Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), amongst others.
The Regional Security Council (REGSEC), led by Mr Quartey and the Adentan Municipal Assembly last week demolished unauthorised structures within the 200-acre fenced CSIR-ARI enclave at Adentan-Frafraha.
The demolition followed a 48-hour ultimatum issued by Mr Quartey to encroachers to vacate the premises.
Mr Minister said encroachers of the remaining 900-acre land of the Institution should be engaged to discuss the regularisation of their property on the lands.
“This step will be like a relief for those who have lived around for 20 to 30 years and not knowing what their fate is; but today I can assure them that we will make strong recommendations for them to be able to regularise or rather their documents regularised for them,” he said.
Mr Owusu-Bio said the law mandated that all those who encroached Government lands be prosecuted and advised Ghanaians to do detailed probing before acquiring land.
“We are sending a strong warning that this should not be a gate opened for other encroachers to start encroaching on government lands. Henceforth, if you want to buy land, do all the necessary searches, and confirm from Lands Commission before you acquire it and start building,” he said.
The Deputy Minister said the regularisation would not include those within the 200-acre land who had their buildings demolished.
Mr Owusu-Bio said personnel from the Lands Commission, together with REGSEC would visit the 900-acre lands of CSIR-ARI to take inventory of all unoccupied parts of the land.