President Nana Akufo-Addo has charged the new Board of the National Lands Commission to end corruption at the Commission and streamline land acquisition processes.
The President Akufo-Addo observed that the processes of procuring land and registering land titles are fraught with corruption. “On a daily basis, and I know I am not alone in making this observation, we hear of countless lamentations from many Ghanaians, who face great difficulty in trying to access services at the Lands Commission,” the President said as he inaugurated the new board of the National Lands Commission on Thursday.
“To conduct a simple search of the details of a parcel of land for payment is a process that takes weeks, and, if you are not lucky, months,” he noted further.
The President also noted the “mysterious disappearances of indentures and other land title documents from the Lands Commission, only for them to be replaced with documents belonging to others,” as a marker of the corruption occurring at the commission.
“Indeed, it appears that, for the right amount of money, any transaction, legal or illegal, can be procured at the Lands Commission. It is deeply regrettable that the very problems that led to the establishment of the Lands Commission and the implementation of a land administration reform programme, through the Land Administration Projects, still persist,” he said.
Solutions in NPP’s promises
As a solution to these problems, President Akufo-Addo charged the Board to look in the direction of policies contained in the New Patriotic Party’s 2016 Manifesto.
In line with the manifesto promises, he charged the board to speed up land services and enhance the accuracy of land certificates and records by digitizing the Lands Commission’s operations.
President Akufo-Addo also mandated the Board to ensure that the turnaround time for land registration was reduced to 30 working days and fully decentralise the Lands Commission to the district level to reduce the cost of land services.
“This is a heavy charge I give to you, members of the newly constituted Board of the National Lands Commission, and it is my hope and expectation that you will ensure the full and speedy implementation of these initiatives,” the President said.