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Government outlines priorities for 2011 budget

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Government on Wednesday tagged oil management issues, provision of water in deprived communities, elimination of schools under trees and completion of selected projects in roads, mining and energy sector as priorities for the 2011 fiscal budget.

“As Medium-Term Policy priorities for the attainment of a Better Ghana agenda, within the next three years, government is pursuing vigorous policies for improvement and sustenance of the macroeconomic stability and enhancing competitiveness in the private sector.

Mr Collins Dauda, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, who disclosed this in Accra said, it is important to “Modernize agriculture and natural resource management; infrastructure development; sustainable energy sector for growth; human development and transparent and accountable governance,”

Mr Dauda was speaking at the opening of the 2010 annual Land Surveyors Seminar on the theme: “National Navigation Systems; A Tool for Sustainable Development for a Better Ghana”.

He said the policy priorities places enormous responsibilities on professionals.

The seminar is a platform for stock taking on the achievements and shortcomings of surveyors, and was used to map-up professional strategies for achieving sustainable growth and development for a Better Ghana.

The Minister acknowledged that most of the activities to be undertaken to alleviate poverty and ensure sustainable growth is hinged on proper land management and administration.

He therefore tasked Surveyors to roll-out their sleeves and join the government in the construction industry – roads or building; land planning and management; modernization of agriculture; land information in terms of maps and oil management.

“Oil management issues definitely will need a lot of Bathymetric and Hydrographic Surveyors to find out the depth of our shores to ensure effective monitoring of activities of oil companies offshore,” he stated.

Mr Dauda assured the Surveyors of a bright prospect, as Government has began negotiations for the extension of the Land Administration Project for three years, to undertake the preparation of base-maps, covering Greater Accra, Ashanti and Western regions.

Mapping of other regions would be undertaken under different projects.

The rest of the projects include mapping the whole country at a scale of 1:50,000, mapping of seashore across the coastal line; railway network corridor; the Volta River Authority GRIDCO; network across the country and provision of large scale mapping at 1:2500.

Other projects earmarked are development of a mapping policy, a geodetic reference network policy and national spatial data infrastructure policy; conversion of all analogue parcel data to digital parcel format; boundary demarcation for customary owners and street addressing and house numbering for Accra Metropolitan Assembly.

He said all streets and houses will have a unique name and number respectively by the end of 2012, and that, “government would depend largely on the co-operation and support of Land Surveyors and the institution”.

He said these projects would ensure an up-to-date spatial data, which would be made available for sustainable development, noting that, the last time  “Ghana was mapped was in 1974 and that government will want to reverse this trend, under the Better Ghana Agenda and needs the total collaboration, dedication and support of Land Surveyors”.

Surveyor Yvonne Sowah, President of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors, who chaired the seminar, tasked surveyors to come out with strategies to deal with the menace of developers putting up building at unapproved areas, especially in waterways and flood prone areas.

The two-day seminar would focus on; the impact of virtual reference stations on national development; modelling flood prone areas, using geographic information system; shoreline mapping-the way out; geospatial technology to aid visual flight navigation at poor visibility; and application for crime response.

The rest are evaluation of ultra wide-band for indoor positioning; and regulating navigation system usage for sustainable development.

About 150 participants including traditional rulers, judges, insurance companies, academia and professional stakeholders in land administration and surveying are attending.

Source: GNA

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