The Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, has described as outrageous, the allocation and sale of government lands in the Residency and the Kabore areas at Ho by the Regional Lands Commission.
According to the Minister, the lands were acquired for development into residential areas for government workers.
The Minister said upon assumption of office, he received several petitions from the residents of the government quarters, and patriotic citizens in Ho about the way and manner the Land Commission was indiscriminately selling government lands, which started under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government under its ‘in-filling exercise’ policy.
According to the Minister, it was unfortunate that an institution, that is supposed to protect government lands, is the very one selling them indiscriminately for private people to build houses and hotels on such strategic state assets.
The Regional Minister, who was address a press conference on the sale of government lands in Ho yesterday, argued that the Lands Commission’s exercise beats normal reasoning-that the spaces left on the government acquired lands ought to be filled-and that they have been left fallow for long.
“When I took office as the representative of the President in the Volta Region, the complaints that I received about this in-filling exercise were from occupants of public bungalows and ordinary people. Look, the in-filling exercise is a massive and extensive exercise, where allocations have been made too close to the residency to the total neglect of the attendant security implications,” he said.
The Regional Minister observed that some of the beneficiaries cannot even erect standard structures on the land they have purchased; yet, all the lands close to the residency had been sold to them. To make matters worse, the disputed lands have been leased for as many as 99 years, when the state had resources in case it wants to acquire new lands and pay compensation for it.
“The Lands Commission deemed it appropriate that the state lands in the Residency and Kabore enclave within the Ho Township as fallow lands which must be put to some kind of use at any cost, other than to preserve for government’s use. In other words, the Lands Commission views the spaces between official bungalows as either fallow or wasteful, as long as there were no structures sitting on them, hence the policy to survey, create plots and grant the leases,” Dr Letsa noted.
The Regional Minister expressed his disappointment with the Regional Lands Commission, which has the mandate to manage lands vested in the President of Ghana by the 1992 constitution, but has decided to deprive the state access to such lands. He directed the Lands Commission to stop further sale of the lands.