Lands Commission is not engaged in unregulated disposal of government lands – Board Chairman

Mr Yakubu (middle) reading the statement at the press conference,

The Northern Regional Lands Commission has described as unfortunate and misleading allegations that it is engaged in unregulated disposal of government lands in the region.

Mr Dubik Mahama Yakubu, the Board Chairman, Northern Regional Lands Commission, who addressed a press conference in Tamale, said it was untrue to infer that the Commission was selling lands to individuals in the Metroplis.

“The Lands Commission has, since its inception, operated within the law and its mandate and, therefore, did not do anything outside its mandate.”

The press conference was to set the records straight following allegations made by the Dagbon Forum, a pressure group, at a press conference in Tamale on January 26, 2023, that the Lands Commission was selling government lands in Tamale to individuals and businesses.

The president of the group, therefore, demanded that the Office of the Special Prosecutor investigated the unregulated disposal of government lands just like it did with the alleged disposal of state lands at the Achimota Forest Reserve.

Mr Yakubu cited the 1992 Constitution, and the Lands Commission Act as well as the Policy Direction of the Government as spelt out by President Akufo-Addo when he inaugurated the Board of Directors of the Commission in August, 2017, saying the Commission was only working in line with its mandate under the law, and the directive of the President.

He said the directive required the Lands Commission to attract the widest variety of new industrial enterprises to the areas where it was most needed.

It was to reserve, zone and service strategic locations for development of industrial and business parks and enclaves across the country in the right places without damaging the country’s green belt, and to release publicly held lands for productive uses.

“Freeing up surplus and under-utilised lands, held by public departments for housing and commercial developments, will boost economic development and reduce the housing deficit,” he said.

Mr Yakubu said a good number of revered chiefs and lawyers of the Dagbon Kingdom served on the Board of the Northern Regional Lands Commission and, therefore, could not condone and perpetrate acts that were not in tune with the laws of the land, which would not bring development to the entire Dagbon Kingdom and the country.

He said the allegation that part of the Forest Reserve, named Ward I at the Timber Market at Aboabo in Tamale had been disposed of to a private developer was untrue.

He clarified that “the plot that was leased to the developer is a commercial plot by the roadside between the Commercial Bank and the Shell Fueling Station, part of which was used by the GNTC of old. There is in fact, a road separating this site from the Timber Market.”

“It is to be used for commercial purposes just as the old GNTC was a commercial entity. This is all that there is to the issue and nobody has sold out the market.”

Mr Yakubu said the Lands Commission did not work in isolation but collaborated with the relevant state agencies such as the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), and the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly to implement developmental policies.

“There is also the Redevelopment Implementation Committee under the leadership of the Northern Regional Minister and the Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive driving the developmental agenda and therefore, the Lands Commission could not have redeveloped or rezoned the Metropolis without prior approval from the RCC and Tamale Metropolitan Assembly,” he said.

Source: GNA

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