A 39-member board of the Eastern Regional Lands Commission has been sworn in at a short ceremony at the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council in Koforidua to superintend over land administration in the region.
Her Ladyship Mercy Adei Kote, the Circuit Court Judge who presided over the ceremony made members swear in the oath of office, oath of allegiance, and oath of secrecy.
Present was the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio, who tasked members to use diplomacy and fairness to tackle the challenges within the land administration.
According to him, these were; the conflicting search reports and double registrations, illegal mining and chain saw operations, the rapid development of properties without regard to planning schemes, and conflict that exists between customary landowners.
He urged members to collaborate with other stakeholders to fight against galamsey activities, encroachment on public lands, chain saw operations that had destroyed the environment, major water bodies, forest reserves, and the interruption of public projects.
He added that “My ministry will support every effort aimed at eradicating these challenges. One of the major tasks of the Regional Lands Commission will be to comply with the provisions of section 270 of Act 1036.”
The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources reiterated that the commission should develop an effective communication strategy to educate the public on the new Lands Act 2020 (Act 1036).
The Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Acheampong on his part stated that the inauguration of the board as a means to drive the policies of the government, adding that it was government intended to support the commission to deal with the challenges confronting the land sector.
He outlined some of the interventions such as; turning the lands commission into a truly digital organization, ensure that the turnaround time for land registration is reduced, free up surplus and underutilized lands to boost economic development and reduce the housing deficit.
Mr. Kofi Osei Danquah, Chairman of the board on behalf of members acknowledges the role the Eastern Region plays in the land administration.
He said for the effective implementation in the land administration system, the interest of the government should be a priority.
He pledged that members would be guided by the sworn oath and give their maximum best for the development of the country.