Digitisation of land registration will overcome many problems - Bawumia

Ghana can only make the much-needed strides in development when technology becomes the driver for all sectors of the economy, especially in the administration of land, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has underscored.

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

Thus the Nana Akufo-Addo government undertaken, over the past four and a half years, a vigorous digitization drive to formalize all sectors of the Ghanaian economy, in order to stimulate growth and make the provision of services more secure and accessible to Ghanaians.

Speaking at a national symposium organised by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in collaboration with other land use administrators in Accra on Wednesday, 23rd June 2021 Dr. Bawumia emphasised the key role digitization is expected to play in the implementation of the new Land Act to ensure sanity and security in land administration.

"The importance of an effective and efficient Land Sector in Ghana cannot be overemphasized. Every economic activity undertaken by man has a relation to land and, therefore, the land remains pivotal to National Development.

"It is worth noting that successive Governments have tried resolving the challenges in our Land Administration system, but these efforts have often come with various complications and inefficient deployment of resources. Governments after governments, bank loans after bank loans, our fundamental problems in land administration persist, seemingly unsolvable, and citizens’ complaints get louder and louder.

"To address these critical challenges in the land sector and to optimize the contribution of land to the socio-economic development of Ghana, the Government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is committed to change through the application of technology.

"Ghana can only make the much-needed strides in development when technology becomes the driver for all sectors of the economy.

"Therefore, as part of the digitization agenda of the Government, I have established in my office a Liaison Unit which is fervently working to assist the Lands Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in expediting the digitization of its processes," he said.

In addition to harmonizing existing laws the Act, which received Presidential Assent on 23rd December 2020, provides for the repeal of 13 land-related Acts, which in turn result in the repeal of orders/rules and regulations that emanate from these repealed laws.

Further, Act 1036 significantly introduces new provisions relating to customary land management, compulsory acquisition, and vesting of lands, electronic conveyancing, and spousal land rights.

It also provides for stringent jail terms for various offences related to land that is expected to assist in sanitizing the land sector.

"I am particularly excited that Electronic Conveyancing, which can only be realized by establishing a robust digitized land sector agency, has been incorporated in the Land Act. We are digitizing the land registry to address the issues of multiple titles issued for the same parcel of land, missing documents, and other matters bedeviling the administration of land in Ghana," he stated.

Dr. Bawumia reiterated the importance of private sector participation in collaborative land administration, especially in the injection of capital and technical know-how in targeting specific key improvements in the infrastructure and operations of the Lands Commission. This participation, he stressed, would go a long way in improving efficiency and increasing the internally generated resources.

Reminding participants that laws in themselves do not resolve problems, Dr. Bawumia charged all stakeholders, including the Ministry, Lands Commission, Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands, Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority, and traditional authorities to ensure the application of the laws and their effective implementation to achieve the desired changes in the land sector.

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