“Revoke E.I. 144 immediately it is in clear breach of Act 925” – Minority to gov’t

Revoke E.I. 144 immediately
File photo of the Minority in Parliament

By: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

The Minority Members in Ghana’s Parliament through its leader are calling on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to as a matter of urgency revoke Executive Instrument (E.I.) 144 which allows for the declassification of some portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve.

According to Minority Leader, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, the E.I. 144 is in clear breach of the provisions of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925).

In a statement issued yesterday, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, the Minority Leader who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South constituency in the Northern Region explained that as per the dictates of the Act, the regulation of land use and spatial planning in Ghana is not conferred on the President.

“The Executive Instrument numbered 144, the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 issued ‘By Command of the President’ and signed by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, claims to be made in exercise of the power conferred on the President by section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157). However, the current law regulating land use and spatial planning in Ghana is the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925). It is clear that Executive Instrument 144 is in breach of the provisions of Act 925,” portions of the statement read.

Tamale South lawmaker further demanded the President “to do what is right and proper by respecting the provisions in the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925) and the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution of actually holding public lands on behalf of, and in trust for, the people of Ghana.”

“It would be in the President’s own interest and the interest of his Government simply to revoke the E.I. 144 instead of, once again, showing contempt for the laws of Ghana and the interest of the Ghanaian people.”

“Section 93(4) of Act 925 which relates to the change or use or re-zoning of public space, states unequivocally that: “… the change of use or re-zoning of public space shall be subjected to approval by Parliament.

“Therefore, besides the role of the District Spatial Planning Committee, Parliamentary approval is, therefore, a requirement for the change of use or re-zoning of the Achimota Forest Reserve area. Section 96 of Act 925 requires that the re-zoning be done before Government can convey the land to any person.”

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