By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, Feb. 28, GNA - The structural challenges inhibiting effective land administration in the country still persist in spite of the implementation of the Land Administration Project (LAP) for the past 14 years.
There are disturbing challenges such as multiple sales of lands, delays in accessing land services, missing files at the Lands Commission, “rent seeking behaviour among staff” and unauthorised personnel still hanging around the precincts of the Commission indulging in illegal deals.
Mr John-Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, who made the observation in a speech read on his behalf, at the Land Administration Reforms Conference in Accra, said these efficiencies were inhibiting the country’s ability to attract foreign Direct Investment.
He therefore, supported the call for digitisation of land administration in the country to enhance service delivery and curb insidious corruption in the system.
“There are institutional inefficiencies, multiple and uncoordinated legislation, weak technological base, poor map coverage and profound insular work attitudes that needed to be addressed,” he emphasised.
Mr Amewu noted that, the LAP One and Two did not record the needed transformational changes in the area of speeding up land service delivery in title registration and deed registration.
The LAP was implemented in phases with the first phase being rolled out from 2003 -2011, and the second phase implemented from 2011- 2016, but extended to February 28, 2018.
The Minister said one key target of LAP-2 was to reduce the turnaround time in registering land deeds in the Client Service Access Unit (CSAU) areas from three to one month.
He said a recent evaluation of the LAP-2 revealed that, that objective could not be achieved.
He said another target of the LAP-2 was to reduce turnaround time for Title Registration from seven to three months, however, records available showed that the average turnaround time was eight months.
“So clearly, we are confronted with a genuine nightmare in our land administration as we undertake profound capital and technological investment to improve the quality of service.
“After 14 years of trying to reform our land administration with both technical and financial support from the World Bank and other Development Partners, the old demons are still with us,” he explained.
Mr Amewu, however, recounted some successes chalked by the Project, including the passage of the Land Use and Spatial Development Planning Act, the development of a National Spatial Development Framework and the Regional Spatial Development Framework for Greater Accra and Ashanti regions, improved court processes through revision of Rules of Court as well as automation of land courts and the mapping 29,000 square kilometres in the Northern and Southern sectors to support land use planning.