A Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio, on behalf of the Sector Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, on Thursday, had a crunch meeting with the leadership of the Regional Lands Commission to discuss concerns over management of public lands in the country.
The meeting, convened at the instance of the sector minister, was occasioned by complaints received from the regions on the management of public lands, from institutions such as traditional leaders, non-governmental organisations (ngos), the military, among others.
He said most of the concerns bothered on allocation of lands which adversely affects drainage systems, giving out of military lands to private persons, encroachment of forest reserves, among others.
He stressed that all land transactions must seek express approval from the sector Minister before they were handed out to any public or private entity. “Bring all the pressure to us here in Accra and let us handle it, don’t go issuing any land, anywhere,” he stated.
Responding, the national chairman of the Lands Commission, Alex Quaynor, stressed the need for the Ministry and the Commission to have strict policy guidelines to ensure a mechanism which will help deal with all the issues as well as guide the work of the Commission across the country.
He also urged the regional heads to keep proper records of all transactions done in the regions and ensure that all things are done in a proper manner.
The Chief Director of the Ministry, Prof. Patrick Agbesinyale, admonished the regional heads to take the message of the Ministry seriously and comply with it accordingly to protect the name of the Ministry and the Government.
Participants at the meeting also agreed and pushed for the finalisation of an operational manual to help bring standardisation and uniformity in the activities of the Commission in the various regions.