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Surveyors call for legislation on land management

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LandscapeThe Ghana Institution of Surveyors (GhIS) has underscored the need for the passage of the pieces of legislation for Survey Council and Real Estate.

Such legislation will give legal backing to operations in the land management industry and stem the incidence of multiple sale of land, with its attendant violence and protracted conflicts

It will also ensure that whatever gains are made in the Land Administration Project (LAP I and II) will be sustained.

There will also be firm control over land management within the public and the customary sectors.

The call was made by some executives of the GhIS when they paid a courtesy call on former President John Agyekum Kufuor at his residence in Accra.

The visit was part of the outreach programmes to confer with opinion leaders to seek their support for the passage of the Survey Council and Real Estate legislation in the country.

Speaking on behalf of the delegation, the President of the GhIS, Mr J. E. K. Dadson, said even though land was at the centre of socio-economic life, it was sad that it was usually characterised by numerous conflicts in Ghana and across Africa.

He recalled that LAP I and II, which were interventions to address various challenges in the land sector, were good initiatives but said the surveyor who was central to all land issues had no law governing the art and practice of the profession.

Survey Council and Estate Agency acts

Mr Dadson said currently foreigners could come and practise land surveying, valuation and estate surveying, as well as quantity surveying, in the country without restriction.

“We have worked over the years for the passage of the Survey Council Bill and Estate Agency Bill but progress has been extremely slow,” he explained.

He recalled that in 2012, the Cabinet considered the Survey Council Bill but said it was being rectified by the current Cabinet before parliamentary approval.

VAT and NHIS in construction

Mr Dadson said in 2002 the government amended the Value Added Tax (VAT) Law to include VAT for construction projects.

However, he said, due to implementation challenges, the new law was not applied until the GhIS took the initiative to develop the modalities for its implementation in 2009.

Mr Dadson said the modalities helped to increase tax revenue, adding that there was the need to train more industry players and stakeholders in construction for them to apply the law correctly and for revenue to increase.

Book donation

The executives donated books authored by members of the institution to the former President.

The books were titled: “Guide to Practice of Procedures in Public Procurement of Works”, and “Rating Evaluation Practice in Ghana”, written by  surveyors J.A. Acquaye and Emmanuel Lawer respectively.

Former President Kufuor’s remarks

In his remarks, Mr Kufuor thanked the executive of the GhIS for the visit and assured them of his support, adding that the issue of land was at the centre of governance and development.

He said most investors cared about the land tenure system before they took decisions to invest.

Mr Kufuor, therefore, called on the members of the institution to embark on a national crusade to educate the people on the need to consult professional surveyors on land related issues.

Source: Daily Graphic

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