Do thorough land search before making payments – Officer

The Lands Commission has advised individuals and corporate entities ready to purchase land from real estate companies to conduct a search to validate the interest in the land before advancing payment.

Mr Timothy Anyidoho, the Greater Accra Regional Lands Officer, gave the advice during an Editors’ Forum in Accra on Wednesday, on the new Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036).

“No matter what you think about the company’s credibility you must first obtain a site plan from it and conduct a search at the Lands Commission to validate the interest in the land you intend to purchase before making any payment,” he said.

“You shouldn’t be carried away by the fact that it’s a real estate company advertising on radio or television and so you believe it has the right documentation to the land.”

Mr Anyidoho said there had been instances where people had encountered difficulty in registering title to land they purchased from real estate companies, therefore conducting a search was important to avoid losing huge sums of money over wrongful land transactions.

He took the editors and senior reporters through some relevant Sections of the Act and encouraged them to use their media platforms to educate the public in order to bring sanity to Ghana’s land administration system.

The Act, for instance, in Section 9(2) states that “A person shall not create an interest in or right over any stool, skin, clan or family land that vest in that person, another person or body of persons a freehold interest in that land, howsoever described”.

Section 98(1) states that “An action concerning any land or interest in land in registration district shall not be commenced in any court unless the procedure for resolution under Alternative Dispute Resolution Act, 2010 Act 798 have been exhausted”.

Mr Alex Quaynor, the Chairman of the Lands Commission, said greed and indiscipline of some stools, clans and families who owned lands had resulted in multiple land sales and the consequential protracted litigations, which retarded development.

He called for collective efforts by all to restore sanity in the country’s land management system.

Mr James E. Dadson, the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, in his welcome address, commended the editors for availing themselves to the forum and gave them an insight into the structure and mandate of the Commission.

The Commission, he said, comprised four divisions; Survey and Mapping, Public and Vested Land Management, Land Valuation, and Land Registration.

He expressed the Commission’s commitment to effectively carry out its mandate to complement the Government’s transformation agenda as a catalyst for growth and development.

That, Mr Dadson said, would help streamline the land administration system and promote accountability and transparency.

The objective of the new Land Act, assented into law by President Akufo-Addo on 23rd December, 2020, is to harmonise and consolidate all laws on land to improve administration and ensure sustainable management.

Source: GNA

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