Land Valuation Conference opens in Takoradi
The Conference is on the theme: “Standardization of Property Valuation Practice and Lands Act 2020 (Act 1036) to facilitate work delivery”.
The Participants discussed compensation valuations under the Lands Act 2020(Act 1036), revision of compensation valuation process, compensation and resettlement, policies of the World Bank and other development partners, the use of software in property valuation and stamp duty.
The Director, Land Valuation Division (LVD), Dr. Mrs. Theodora Mends explained that, as part of its mandate, the Division was to hold an annual valuation conference to review outputs to ensure efficient and effective services for the public.
This, she added, was to ensure the government derived the best from benefits from LVD’s services in terms of revenue generation, including stamp duties, rentals and estate among others.
Dr. Mends continued “We have this opportunity to come together so that we can build ourselves up and provide the services required of us in a prudent manner. I believe that it’s time to raise our level of performance and make our division proud.”
The Acting Executive Secretary, Lands Commission, Mr. James E. K Dadson, stated that the institutions played a key role in the financial management of the country.
He indicated that, all four divisions, Survey and Mapping Division, Land Valuation Division, Lands Registration Division and Public and Vested Lands Division, needed to work as a team, saying “we cannot operate in isolation.”
“We must continue to work as a family and not in isolation. If you signed a document and it doesn’t go for registration, the process is not complete. I will urge all of us to work together as a family”, he added.
Mr. Dadson urged the participants to contribute significantly and make recommendations to enrich the redevelopment of the Act 2020 (Act 1036).
The National Chairman, Lands Commission, Lawyer Alex Quainoo, described the conference as timely and critical to brainstorm on current practices in the sector, noting that, professionals across the world were holding training sessions, including seminars for continuous improvement, hence the need for the Commission to emulate.
He believed future conferences for valuers and other divisions should be compulsory.
Mr. Quainoo narrated his experiences at the Ghana Highway Authority last year, where a foreign contractor insisted that squatters – (illegal occupants) should be paid compensation “else he won’t continue with the work.”
He added “It is important that we bring our ideas to bear on this during the conference. There is so much indiscipline across this country and you don’t need to be an engineer, indiscipline is rife. ”
The National Chairman wondered why even the road corridors had been encroached including road reservation…” some of them have building permits issued by the assemblies. We need to talk to assemblies. How do you issue building permits for development on road reservations?”
He stressed that the Land Commission needed to be serious with work delivery to improve efficiency.
He said “If you pick up tax, the Lands Commission is the third highest revenue generator for the government. So, it shows how important we are; we collect all manner of income for the state; property and stamp duties. So, we need to be diligent, we need to work as a unit,”.
Mr. Quainoo stressed the need for the Commission to standardize calculations for any valuation across all divisions and Regions.
The Chairman of Western Regional Commission, Dr. Isaac Kofi Sagoe, recognized the importance of LVD in governance and the economy especially on rent and providing solutions to land issues and compensations.