The Western Regional Office of the Lands Commission has started digitization of its office procedures with the introduction of a file tracking system, Mr. Stephen Oduro-Kwarteng, Acting Western Regional Lands Officer, has said.
He said their office records system was also being computerized and upon completion retrieval of information and general service delivery would see a marked improvement.
“I can assure you that by 2014, issues of missing files will be a thing of the past”, Mr. Kwarteng who is also the Coordinator of the Regional Land Administration Project, said.
He was speaking at a workshop on land administration organized by the Lands Commission for judges, lawyers and related stakeholders in Takoradi.
He said statistics showed that land cases accounted for about 85 percent of all civil cases pending before the high courts in Accra which include investment related, stool, state and family land cases.
In the Western Region, 40 land cases are pending before the courts in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, he said, thus placing huge responsibility on both land administrators and judges.
Mr. Kwarteng said there was the need to ensure fairness, equity and find way of minimizing the spate of such litigations by their expeditious disposal through effective coordination and interactions.
Touching on the oil find in the region, Mr. Kwarteng said it had brought in its wake an increased demand for land , particularly for industrial , agricultural and estate development as large track of land are being disposed of by chiefs and family heads. He appealed to landowners to take their time as “some of the so –called investors are only speculators and land racketeers”.
To check these however, Mr. Kwarteng said, the Lands Commission had put measures in place to curb the emerging menace like organizing public validation to precede the granting of consent and concurrence to grants of large tracks of land.
Mr. Justice George Buadi, a Sekondi High Court Judge, said there was the need for litigants to use professionals to process documents on their land to prevent being rejected by the statutory or planning authorities and ending up losing title to their land. He said 378 lands cases pending before the various courts between 2010 and 2013 only 179 had been disposed off.
Answering questions on the boundary between Ghana and Cote D’ Ivoire at the jubilee Oil Field, Alhaji Sulemana Mahama, Land Management Specialist, said the issue was being vigorously pursued at a higher level.
Mr. Robert Hackman Antwi of the Survey and Mapping Division of the Lands Commission enumerated challenges facing surveyors and urged parties to support them with logistics like transportation to fields for expeditious execution of their survey work.
The organizers and resource persons expressed regret about the failure of the traditional authorities to attend the workshop as they are key actors in land administration.
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