Citizens’ Charter Must Help Resolve Land Issues: Baffour-Awuah
Citizens’ Charter Must Help Resolve Land Issues: Baffour-Awuah Website
Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, on Tuesday said Government acknowledged and appreciated the problems and challenges in the land sector, that were hampering the country’s socio-economic development hence the launch of the citizens’ charter for the Commission in October last year. “The citizens’ charter is a tool for facilitating the delivery of services to citizens with specified standards, quality and time frame with commitment from the organizations and their clients”, the Regional Minister added. Mr Baffour-Awuah said the citizens’ charter should inspire the Commission and its workers to strive at attaining the optimum efficiency and effectiveness in the administration and management of public and other lands through a robust land service delivery. Mr Baffour-Awuah said this in a speech read for him at the opening of the 2008 annual conference of the Land Commission in Sunyani. The four-day conference is on the theme “Achieving the goals of the citizens’ charter - A challenge for Lands Commission”. He challenged the Commission to take steps to ensure sustainable management and development of land, accelerated service delivery to the public and to adopt market approach to land management and development. The Regional Minister explained that the unpleasant perception of the general public about the Commission had also been compounded by the activities of fraudsters, land contractors and estate agents of dubious character, who had found their way into the land market and administration in the country. Mr Baffour-Awuah stressed that the Commission was mandated to manage public lands, monitor developments to ensure conformity with approved planning schemes and the prevention of encroachments. Mr Euslace Kumi-Bruce, Chairman of the National Lands Commission explained that land was a vital and delicate resource on which the livelihood of mankind depended. He noted that the unhealthy competition for land and the seemingly weak institutions involved in land administration had resulted in the number of land administration problems confronting the country. The national chairman mentioned lack of planning schemes and development control, obsolete operating procedures, low level of adherence to planning, inadequate land records and other regulations as some of the major problems facing the sector. These, Mr Kumi-Bruce noted, when not addressed posed a threat to rapid urbanization that also had serious implications for the management of cities and towns. He called for closer collaboration and coordination of all the land sector agencies as well as other stakeholders like traditional leaders, district assemblies and the judiciary towards dealings with land administration problems in the country.