The Public Education Committee of the Greater Accra Regional Lands Commission has organised a public forum to educate residents of Shai-Osudoku District on the importance of land use and mandate of the Lands Commission.
Mr Alex Quainoo, the Chairman of the Regional Lands Commission, who explained the purpose of the meeting, said people often misconstrue the operations of the Commission, while some people had little knowledge about its mandate.
Therefore, the public forum afforded the Commission the opportunity to explain its activities and operations to the residents and solicit their feedback for improved service delivery.
The forum was organized by the Lands Commission in collaboration with the Shai-Osudoku District Assembly.
Mr Quainoo gave the assurance that the government had not reneged on its plans to digitize all land records in the country, in order to cut down the bureaucratic bottlenecks that often delayed the land registration processes.
He cautioned chiefs and elders in the community to refrain from selling public and vested lands to individuals, especially to foreigners.
For his part, Mr Maxwell Adu Nsafoah, the Regional Lands Officer of the Commission, explained the core functions of the Lands Commission to the participants.
He explained the functions of the four divisions of the Commission, namely, the Public Vested and Lands Management Division (PVLMD), which manages vested and state lands, the Survey and Mapping Division (SMD) that coordinates the preparation of plans from the data derived from survey and any amendment of the plans.
The other two are the Land Valuation Division (LVD), which assesses stamp duties and valuates compensations and the Land Title Registration Division (LRD) that deals with registration of lands in the country.
Mr. Nsafoah also spoke about the establishment of the Client Service Access Unit (CSAU), which is a one-stop-shop for all business transactions at the Lands Commission.
He encouraged participants to always demand for a site plan and conduct a search from the three divisions of the Commission before buying any land.
The Regional Lands Officer cautioned them against dealing with middle persons, popularly called the “Gorro Boys”, who posed as staff of the Commission.
He entreated the participants to always visit the CSAU for any official transaction and authenticate the checklist from official sources.
The Regional Director of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority, Mrs. Francisca Okyere took turns to educate them on the importance of spatial planning processes.
She admonished the participants to refrain from building along waterways in order to avoid flooding and risk of having their property demolished.
Pictorial Presentation of the proposed Planning Scheme (layout) of the area was shown to the participants to help prevent future encroachment.
Some areas in the district had been demarcated for various purposes such as hospitals, schools and farming.
The Commission asked chiefs and family heads who had sold lands within the demarcated areas to submit their site plans within a month, in order to incorporate them into the proposed Planning Scheme, failure of which they would risk losing those lands entirely.
Officials of the Commission also cautioned chiefs against multiple sale of lands since the practice caused protracted litigations, overlaps and inhibits land registration processes.