The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio says in the medium to long term, the Sector Minister, Samuel A. Jinapor in capacity as political head of the Ministry is in discussions with the private sector and other stakeholders to undertake a comprehensive land reform which will transform operations at the Commission.
The Deputy Minister said this during the sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of Lands Commission District office in Tema, on Tuesday, 1st February, 2022.
He explained that the construction of the Tema District office forms part of government's decentralisation drive in the land administration, adding that " this is also in line with Sustainable Development Goal 1 (1.4.2) which seeks to promote control and access to land services".
He further stated that the 0.33 acre of land is to be developed into an ultra-modern single storey office building with state-of-the-art facilities for effective land service delivery.
Mr Owusu-Bio disclosed that the Tema office is the beginning of many district office complex to come in some selected districts across the country.
He said the building is expected to be completed in 12 months, adding that the new complex will deepen the integration process by accommodating all the four divisions of the commission.
In his keynote address, Mr Owusu-Bio recounted saying that Land administration in Ghana has undergone and is still going through several phases in the bid to streamline the process that governs Land acquisition, it's management and disposal.
He opined that in the quest to improve service delivery and to address challenges of land administration in Ghana such as manual nature of land records, inadequate office infrastructure, poor working environment and limited staff capacity, the Lands Commission has embarked on a number of initiatives including the digitization drive to digitize and automate records and registration processes of the commission, enactment of the New Lands Act ( Act 1036), recruitment of some 757 new staff between 2020 & 2021, and the establishment of offices in the six newly created regions.
He encouraged the staff saying that with all these efforts being made " you need to continue supporting the National Lands Commission Board and Management to achieve government's objectives of reducing the turnaround time for registration.
The Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Alex Quaynor in his opening remarks expressed his gratitude to the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) for the Lands space to build the new office.
He said the commission has already embarked on a number of infrastructural projects to improve service delivery but believes that with the support of government they will be able to better.
" I can say that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the management and board of the Lands Commission are committed to improving service delivery across all the Commission's offices in the country and it's not going to be limited to Greater Accra or Tema"
Mr. James Dadson, the Ag. Executive Secretary of the Commission in his welcome statement said that in the bid to eliminate the phenomenon of transporting documents from the Tema office to Accra, the new building will house all the four divisions of the Commission to ensure operational procedures done in the Tema district is full and 100%.
"The significant thing about this is when we finish this building, people will no longer have to go to Accra to transaction any business with regards to Land registration. All the services from start to finish will take place here in Tema," he added.
The Executive Secretary also assured the staff at Tema that he is going to monitor to ensure that the building is completed within the 12months contract deal signed with Jonacom company Limited, the construction company awarded this contract.
The Deputy Minister and the Chairman of the Commission planted two seedlings to symbolise the commencement of the project.