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Set record straight on land grabbing and corruption — GII tells gov't

The illicit acquisition of state lands has become a glaring symptom of systemic corruption, depriving the nation of valuable resources and perpetuating inequality, the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has said.

Land

According to the anti-corruption agency, the pervasive issue, driven by a toxic combination of greed and impunity, undermines the rule of law and erodes public trust in government institutions.

State land conundrum

State lands, owned by the government on behalf of the people, are intended for public use and development projects aimed at benefiting the entire nation.

However, these valuable assets are often targeted by unscrupulous individuals and entities seeking to exploit them for personal gain. Illegal land acquisition, through bribery, fraud, or political connections, deprives the public of their rightful ownership and distorts the equitable distribution of resources.

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Corruption

Addressing the media in Accra during the formulating of policies on state land grabbing, Dr. Stan Adubia, an expert in land management explained that the lack of transparency and accountability in land transactions provides fertile ground for corruption to thrive, allowing well-connected elites to exploit state resources with impunity.

According to him, the consequences of grabbing state lands extend far beyond individual acts of corruption. By diverting public resources for private gain, this nefarious practice undermines efforts to promote sustainable development and alleviate poverty.

Role of political will

Addressing the scourge of grabbing state lands, the former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Inusah Fuseni said it requires a concerted effort to tackle corruption at its roots.

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Political will, he noted backed by robust legal and institutional frameworks, is essential in holding perpetrators accountable and restoring public confidence in governance, and strengthening oversight mechanisms, enhancing transparency in land administration, and ensuring equitable access to justice are critical steps towards combating corruption and safeguarding state resources for the benefit of all Ghanaians.

In conclusion, Dr. Raphael Quartey from the Lands Commission said the illicit grabbing of state lands and the accompanying scourge of corruption pose significant challenges to Ghana's development aspirations.

Addressing these issues, he noted, requires a comprehensive approach that targets the root causes of corruption, strengthens accountability mechanisms, and empowers citizens to demand transparency and integrity in governance.

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