Accra, Ghana: The last in the series of three zonal consultations on the Lands Bill Draft 1, entitled the Lands Act, 2010, the legal framework to help administer lands in the Ghana held in Accra. The Bill is an act to revise and consolidate statutory laws on land to harmonise land policies with existing customary laws to ensure sustainable land administration and management, effective land tenure and efficient surveying and mapping regime and provide for related matters.
Part one of the bill deals with land tenure or forms that are registerable in Ghana, sub section three deals with specific provisions relating to customary tenures and sub section 228 on the management of stool land revenue seeks to get the assemblies to straighten up.
Page 162 talks about the establishment of a land fund with objectives to provide financial support to the agencies under the Lands Commission for the development and maintenance of essential facilities and infrastructure for the land sector agencies.
Lawyer Kwame Gyan, a legal specialist of Land Administration Project (LAP), Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, explained that the consultation was to deliberate on proposals for the re-organisation of the legal regime for the land sector of Ghana.
He recalled that the exercise has been on-going for the past seven years with the primary objective to re-align the legal architecture for the land sector and this involves the passage of three sets of legislation.
The first law passed, he noted is the Land Act, Act 767 of 2008 that has brought together under one umbrella the various agencies for land administration and land management: Land Commission, Survey Department, Land Valuation Board, Land Title Registry etc. that hitherto operated under different mandates but under the Act all has become functional divisions of the Lands Commission.
“One aspect of the problems of the land sector regarding multiplicity of institutions has been resolved through the act. But that does not solve all the problems of the land sector. There are issues of multiplicity of existing laws passed at different periods and not even in conformity to the constitutional provisions so we needed to pass two more bills; Land Use Bill and Land Bill,” he observed.
He stressed, “We are not saying that we are unifying all customary laws on Ghana for that is not possible. After years of consultation on the draft Land Bill we are professing that we have any or all answers but proposals are welcomed to improve the land sector”.