The Northern Regional Lands Commission has cautioned prospective land owners to follow laid-down procedures in acquiring land. The commission said citizens, particularly land developers, have no excuse for not doing the right thing because the necessary system has been put in place to address all issues.
According to the commission, registration of lands in the country that once took a year is now completed within a three-month period through its Customer Service Access Unit (CSAU).
The CSAU, it said, was established by the lands commission to ease the difficulties clients used to go through in processing their land documents previously.
As part of their efforts to ensure sanity in land management in the northern region, the lands commission in the region has intensified its public education at paramount Chiefs’ palaces in the region on the need for prospective land developers to follow laid-down procedures.
Sector agencies including stool lands, town and country planning and the survey department took turns to explain details of what citizens need to know when acquiring land.
The commission, through its public outreach community sensitization driven programme, among others, used a drama series dubbed ‘ when the chief gives you a land what next’.
The Northern Regional Stool Land Officer, Franklin Opong Obiri during a sensitization forum at the Yoo Naa’s palace in Savelugu, said government has introduced the customer service access unit to help address all problems facing land developers.
He emphasized the importance of land registration, saying it will go a long way in reducing poverty and enhance revenue mobilization by district assemblies in the region. Mr. Obiri encouraged the chiefs not only to be interested in giving out land but also to ensure that it is leased.
The commission warned all those who acquired land for either residential or educational purposes and later change it to desist from the practice. The commission explained that such owners have no legal right to do so without the consent of the chief and the land sector agencies and the assemblies.
The regional lands officer Agyemang Aboagye-Kyei entreated all developers to obtain land from legitimate sources, that is, from the Chiefs.
He also appealed to chiefs to look into issues of boundary disputes, which he said is a worry to the lands commission. Chiefs must also ensure that they demarcate their boundaries clearly to avoid boundary disputes, he emphasized.
He further appealed to the Chiefs not to allocate lands without site plans, adding that Chiefs must engage professional surveyors. This, he said will enable the land sector agencies to weed out quack surveyors from the system, who are causing serious problems that result in land litigation.
The paramount chief of Savelugu traditional area,Yoo Naa Mahama Abubkar urged his subjects to lease their land because developers are taking large plots for years and not making good use it.
He urged all those who acquired land from his divisional heads to bring their documents for verification to avoid disputes. Yoo Naa also urged divisional chiefs within his jurisdiction to ensure that all land given out to people either free or for money are leased.
He was not happy that some people bought land for well over 20 years and are yet to develop those pieces of land.