Accra, Aug. 18, GNA – Mrs Christie Esi Bobobee, the Administrator of Stool Lands, says the phenomenon of ‘land guards’ is dangerous and should not be encouraged in the country.
She said the activities of land guards had led to numerous land disputes clogging the courts and sometimes resulting in conflicts, loss of lives and property, chaos and insecurity in the communities.
‘These attests to the imperfections in our current systems of land management,’ she said.
Mrs Bobobee made the remarks when she inaugurated the Osu Customary Land Secretariat (CLS) at Osu in Accra on Thursday.
The Customary Land Secretariats (CLSs) are specialised offices established by local land owning communities with support from the Government to improve land management and administration in the country.
The CLSs also assists to bridge the gap in the land management and administration at the local level and those undertaken by the Land Sector Agencies to ensure a sustainable and prudent management of lands within the traditional areas.
Mrs Bobobee said the Constitution placed enormous obligation on traditional authorities as custodians of customary lands to ensure that lands entrusted and vested in them were judiciously managed to bring significant benefits to society.
She said the authorities had failed to adopt systems to introduce technology, transparency, accountability and equity into their land governance and that had resulted in issues of indeterminate boundaries, chieftaincy disputes and a general lack of record keeping.
Other challenges include multiple sales/allocations, haphazard development, encroachment on public lands, and rampant development in unplanned areas.
She said the poor governance arrangements in customary land management had encouraged individuals or groups without capacity to be allocating or selling parcels of lands to the members of the public, thereby undermining the process of land registration.
‘These scenarios reflect the situation where developers are seen building without the requisite permits and without conforming to approved layouts,’ she said.
Mrs Bobobee commended the Osu Traditional authority for their bold determination to access the Land Administration Project Two (LAP2) being facilitated by the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands.
‘The traditional authorities have today demonstrated a resolve to improve their land management by accepting the challenge to put sanity to their system by the establishment of this Customary Land Secretariat,’ she said.
She called on the authorities, the land sector agencies and the assembly to endeavour to support and collaborate with the Land Management Committee of the Osu Traditional Council to enable them to function effectively.
Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI, the Paramount Chief of the Osu Traditional Area, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the establishment of the Secretariat would help monitor activities at the Osu land boundaries.
He said it would also assist to keep proper records and documentation and derive revenue for the Stool.
Nii Kinka Dowuona, also the President of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs, expressed gratitude to the Office of the Stool Land Administration for its support in setting up the Secretariat.