The Lands Commission is set to introduce guidelines for large scale land transactions in the country.
The guidelines are expected to help investors to have access to secure lands while the land owners get value for money.
According to the Commission, the increased number of controversies that have surrounded the acquisition of lands in the country, have also led to a dip in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
This it also believes has largely been as a result of the numerous court cases associated with land acquisitions where real owners of lands are to be determined.
Speaking to Citi Business News on the new directive, the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Dr. Wilfred Kwabena Anim-Odame said the guidelines will ensure transparency in land transactions.
“We have a very focused agenda; which is to make sure that all investors in this country have access to very good secured lands as well as lands that can be suitable for the purposes of their investments,”
“At the same time we also want to protect the interest of the owners of the lands so that investors will not come and take undue advantage of the local owners of the lands which will end up making the community landless,” he explained.
Dr. Anim-Odame was speaking at a one-day validation workshop on guidelines for large-scale land transactions.
The workshop gave the stakeholders in the sector an opportunity to discuss and contribute on policy guidelines for acquiring large plots of lands in Ghana.
“Sustainability in terms of economic, social and environmental are all put in place. At the same time we are aware that we need to provide secure lands which will promote investments into the country. Hence the need to have consultations with all stakeholders before the guidelines is finally implemented,” Dr. Anim-Odame stated.
According to the Land Commission lands transactions above or below 50 acres may trigger social, economic and environmental concerns that need to be safeguarded.
The guidelines are therefore an intervention which is part of the government’s overall effort to regulate land acquisition in Ghana and improve land security, as well as tenure arrangements for increased private sector investments.
During the workshop, Walter Nunez-Rodriguez, the Chief of Party of the APSP remarked, “We deem it appropriate to partner with the Government of Ghana to see this project through because it promotes better land use, private investments in agriculture endeavors and ensures that all acquisitions are made to conform to the land use plan of the areas involved.”
The workshop was attended by representatives of the Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP) Steering Committee, ministries, departments and agencies, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, women’s advocacy groups, traditional rulers and private sector investors in agriculture.
The project is being funded by USAID, the Feed the Future Ghana Agriculture Policy Support Project (APSP) in collaboration with the Lands Commission.
By: Norvan Acquah – Hayford/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana