Lands Ministry drafts amendment bill

LandThe Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, is drafting a Geological Survey Department (GSD) amendment bill to make the department autonomous.

Nii Osah Mills, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, who made this known in Accra, when he toured the Head Offices of GSD and the Lands Commission in Accra on Tuesday said the bill would give the GSD the flexibility to discharge its duties effectively.

The draft bill is currently before Cabinet for consideration

At GSD, the minister was taken through the library, chemical, geophysics, ceramic and XRF laboratories, records room and the museum.

Mr John Adjie Duodu, Director of the GSD said, the Department is faced with many challenges which affect the discharge of its duties.

He said geological business is very expensive and so insufficient flow of funds hampers its activities.

Mr Duodu said there was a budget provision of GH₵400,000 made for the department this year and until now only GH₵ 180,000 has been received, adding: “Almost half of that amount had gone into the payment of electricity bills.”

He said land compensation for the department offices in the regions have not been paid.

At the Lands Commission, Nii Osah Mills said the reputation of the management and staff is at stake and urged them to give a new face to land administration.

He said there are complains about high charges from surveyors from the public.

Dr Wilfred K Anim-Odame, Executive Secretary of the Commission said the body is deeply aware of the high public expectation and the staff are committed to the ongoing land administrative reforms.

He expressed optimism that the commission would be able to develop and implement extraordinary strategies to make the Lands Commission deliver services effectively and efficiently.

Dr Anim-Odame said a number of interventions have been put in place by the ministry through the Land Administration Project Phase two.

The Executive Director noted that some of the interventions have a short gestation period and therefore would yield immediate results, adding: “A typical example is the capital injection to refurbish offices in five regions to create a Clients Services and Access Units also known as ‘One Stop Shop’ which are almost ready for commissioning latest by March 2015.”

“The other interventions are also the clearing of backlog and automation of land service delivery.”

He said the collective efforts of the commission may take relatively a longer period to manifest the gains in effective and efficient land service delivery.

Source: GNA

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