Ghana Institution of Surveyors (GhIS) have revealed that, among the major challenges in Ghana land administration has to do with, the duality in land ownership and control as a result of legislation, customary law, and operations of state agencies.
This was disclosed at a press conference organized by Ghana Institution of Surveyors (GhIS) during the launch of 18th Surveyors Week and 54th Annual General Meeting held in Accra on the theme, “Transforming Land Administration in Ghana: The Role of the Surveying Professional”.
Addressing the media, Surv. Rev . Mrs. Rosemargaret Esubonteng, President of Ghana Institution of Surveyors said, the disconnect between the land and its resources and how it is managed is very huge due to several factors including; large and unwieldy public sector dominance of land Administration processes authorised by law.
Other factors she stated has to do with multiple laws, rules and regulations which grant powers and authority to many state agencies operating independently.
She also mentioned hazy customary law, land holding hierarchies and uncertainty in land boundary coverages as a challenge.
Another challenge, Surv. Rev . Mrs. Rosemargaret Esubonteng mentioned, is the high level of ‘unauthorised’ dealings as a result of flagrant disregard for rules and regulations and non-enforcement of basic laws leading to enforcement of public lands.
Lastly, the numerous litigations arising from multiplicity of dealings by different actors mostly acting based on misinformation or mischief thereby, clogging the courts systems with numerous cases.
Ghana she indicated, does not have a comprehensive map base to support geo-information delivery adding that, the last time modern maps were created was in 1974. “The several urgent needs for all development actors are frustrated by the lack of this basic information. The lack of digital map data is duelling a race among many public agencies to acquire and process their own data. This creates serious challenges with accuracy and compatibility because the State mapping agency is not resources to provide this basic need”.
The integrated land information system and database according to Surv. Rev . Mrs. Rosemargaret, is frustrating the ability to provide the requisite information to support bodies such as local assemblies and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to boost revenue from Property Rates and other land based revenue.
She averred that, it also frustrate the ability to leverage on strong digital and electronic workflow processes to ensure greater interoperability between the Lands Commission and other bodies such as Banks and Financial institutions to facilitate collateralised lending, as well as the Judiciary to facilitate land dispute resolution .
Again, it frustrates the ability to facilitate the speedy delivery of secure and credible land titles within limited timeframe etc.
However, Surv. Esubonteng disclosed that GhIS has a wide membership that straddle all levers of the land administration space and therefore, it is incumbent to build partnerships to leverage the strengths in the public, customary and local government spheres.
She said, recent interventions and support reveal the ability of the Institution to support Government, its agencies, and partners to improve land administration through some support systems such as; Capacity building for institutions and agencies, and linkages with international Professional bodies whom the institution has a strong links with.