Government working to reclaim encroached state lands – Minister

Mr Salifu Saeed, Northern Regional Minister, has said the Regional Coordinating Council is in the process of reclaiming all encroached state lands state development purposes.

He said the rate at which private individuals have encroached on state lands in the region was very alarming adding that every effort would be made to retrieve such lands for the state to pave way for infrastructural development.

Mr Saeed said this in Tamale on Tuesday during the inauguration of the Northern Regional Lands Commission.

The new Commission is to amongst others “advise and assist in execution of comprehensive programme for the registration of title to land throughout the region.”

Mr Saeed said “it is sad that individuals in the Northern Region have built in between bungalows belonging to the state and when asked they would say those lands had been allocated to them and we need to retrieve all those lands whether developed or not.”

He, therefore, tasked the newly inaugurated Regional Lands Commission to work assiduously to  ensure that all encroached state lands in the region are retrieved.

He said sustainable land management is key to peace and development adding “we need to preserve the lands especially in the region and use them as land banks so that when investors come we do not have to be running looking for land”.

Mr Saeed urged the Regional Lands Commission to collaborate with other stakeholders to come out with modern technologies to demarcate lands in a way that would not bring conflict pleading with chiefs to liaise with the Lands Commission when they are giving out huge tracts of lands to developers.

Mr Peter John Amewu, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, said the mistakes and practices of the past in the land sector were over and urged the newly inaugurated Regional Lands Commission to work hard to redeem the image of the Commission.

He urged members of the Commission to avoid the temptation of acquiring land personally or for friends and family members saying, “Do not let us repeat mistakes of the past. Let us work and redeem the image of the Commission for the benefit of the country.”

Mr Dubik Yakubu Mahama, who chairs the Regional Lands Commission, called for team work to ensure that the mandate given them is achieved.

Source: GNA

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