President of the Ghana Real Estate Developers’ Association (GREDA), Patrick Ebo Bonful, has called on government to expedite action on the implementation of the proposed land bank policy to mitigate land challenges in the country.
A land bank is a governmental or nongovernmental nonprofit entity established, at least in part, to assemble, temporarily manage, and dispose of vacant land for the purpose of stabilizing neighborhoods and encouraging re-use or redevelopment of urban property.
Mr. Ebo Bonful says this has become necessary as land acquisition remains one of the factors contributing to Ghana’s housing challenges.
Mr. Bonful was speaking to Citi Business News on the side-lines of the Annual CEO’s breakfast meeting held by GREDA.
“We have suggested that the government should look at the issue of land banks again and give us litigation free land banks. They should also review the land title registration laws to accommodate the proposals that we have sent. Here, government will not pay a dime. They will rather end up increasing revenue from that sector by more than 500 percent. And I think that, given the right priority, this can be done so that we change the entire landscape of real estate in this country. There are so many land litigation issues in the courts, so we want government to take that lead and secure the lands so that we can also patronize it to avoid the risk of land litigation,” he said.
Gov’t establishes land bank desk
In September 2006, government established a Land Bank Desk at the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines to readily assist prospective investors, both local and international, to access investment lands of all types for use.
Prof. Dominic Fobih, then Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, urged professional surveyors to contribute to the investment package to ease the problems of would-be investors in accessing land for the nation’s development agenda.
It’s however unclear what became of that desk and its functions.
Land is an important asset to every society, as it is the foundation for every country’s housing system. However, most developing countries have poor land management systems.
This to a large extent is the beginning of many housing problems. With respect to Ghana, it has become normal to find a parcel of land being sold multiple times. This is aggravated with the often-slow court processes and land guard system many have chosen to engage in.
Ghana’s housing deficit stands at 1.7 million units, but industry players believe the deficit could be more as the country’s population increases.