By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, Feb. 28, GNA - Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has called for the formulation of an effective and efficient land administration system in the country that suits the emerging socio-economic dynamics.
To that end, he said, there was the need for an up-to-date spatial data on land to aid planning, effective land management and development at the national, regional and local levels.
“It is important to critically review the land policy document, keeping in mind the emerging socio-economic dynamics,” he stated.
He therefore, called for reforms in the National Land Policy, which was adopted in 1999, with effective partnership between government and the private sector in digitising land data.
Vice President Bawumia made the call at the Land Administration Reforms Conference, organised by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in Accra, on Wednesday, under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President.
The forum brought together experts to brainstorm on challenges facing land administration and make recommendation for land reforms in the country.
It is expected that the forum would set the right tone for an all-inclusive and frank discussion that would help government roll out strategic interventions for effective and efficient land administration in Ghana.
Vice President Bawumia said after nearly 20 years of adopting the National Land Policy, there was the need to ask pertinent questions as to whether the policy document was still relevant in addressing the contemporary socio-economic issues.
He observed that, without an effective and well-coordinated governance structure for the implementation and enforcement of laws, regulations, guidelines and directives, it would be difficult to achieve the desired impacts of land administration in the country.
He said there were many who complained about the disorderly system of the land administration, land rights and security of tenure.
The Vice President said lack of adequate spatial data on registered and unregistered land, especially in the urban areas, posed a fundamental challenge to urban planning and the overall development of the country.
He said the provision of maps and spatial data covering the entire country would serve the needs of government, businesses and individuals.
“I am informed that LAP 1, LAP 2 and other similar projects have either produced or are producing orthophoto maps covering specific areas of the country for various purposes.
“These combined with the recently introduced Digital Address system should help us generate comprehensive spatial data about land in the country.
“We would therefore need to consider how fit-for-purpose approaches can be adopted in the provision of spatial data for multiple purposes,” he explained.
“Land is the single most visible article of our common existence, whether you own a piece of it or not. Land and land management issues connect every facet of the national sphere.
“Rules of land tenure, how they are applied, how they are administered from land ownership and land uses, have always played an important role in shaping the political, economic and social processes of societies,” he explained.
The Vice President said in many parts of the world, the seeming abundance of land did not necessarily mean that it is available, accessible and usable, saying; “The way we govern land administration dictates how well land can contribute to the process of building economies and distribution of wealth in society”.
Vice President Bawumia said land provided an essential platform for the growth and development of every nation; hence the importance to attach seriousness to land reforms in Ghana.
Topics that are expected to be discussed at the forum include; reviewing the current state of land administration in Ghana, Identifying challenges facing land administration, review best practices of land administration, developing recommendations for policy reforms and designing a road map for land administration reforms in Ghana.