The Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands (OASL) generated more than GH?20 million revenue in 2011 as against GH?18 million in 2010, Mrs Christie E. Bobobee, Administrator, made this known on Wednesday.

She said the amount was total monies collected as ground rent, timber and mineral royalties, as well as stool land revenue.

Mrs Bobobee said the secretariat had targeted to mobilise more than GH? 26 million this year, she told the Ghana News Agency, in an interview after the opening ceremony of the 15th Annual Review Conference of the OASL underway at Abesim, near Sunyani.

To achieve this target, Mrs Bobobee said the OASL intends to expand its activities to more districts as well as increase and establish more collection points.

The three-day conference, being attended by managers of land administration, traditional rulers and some key actors in the land sector, is on the theme: “Increasing the nation’s wealth through best land management practices.”

Mrs Bobobee explained that the OASL would also step up efforts in revenue mobilisation through intensive public education, land title registration, data management, sealing of all leakages by intensely monitoring and adhering to the financial administration laws and regulations.

She emphasised that despite the successes chalked out in revenue generation, low level of deeds and title registration as well as general apathy on the part of rent payers seriously affected the activities of the secretariat.

To this end, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is working on a new Legislative Instrument that will give teeth to Act 481 for the effective enforcement of stool land revenue”, she stated.

Touching on the theme of the conference, Mrs Bobobee said it was chosen at a better time as land management in recent times is beset with numerous problems necessitating immediate response to curb the effect, these negative practices could have on the nation.

Land management, she explained, include the methods and practices, laws and regulations as well as systems put in place to ensure sustainable and maximum resource use.

Mrs Bobobee observed that land and its good management was central to agrarian development, environmental security and local governance and therefore for livelihood supports, wealth creation and poverty reduction.

“Land is one of the factors of production; a valuable asset, which can be harnessed and used as equity for financing the foundation for agriculture and industry and a tool for wealth creation for every nation“, Mrs Bobobee stated.

“We will intensify our efforts in sensitising our chiefs, land owners, farmers and communities to embrace good management practices such as increasing the forest cover through the national forest plantation programme, prevention of bushfires, illegal logging, land degradation, market speculation and haphazard development”.

Mr Eric Opoku, Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, observed that though the number of problems that faced the land sector seemed insurmountable, the government had taken steps to address these challenges.

He said the smooth implementation of the Land Administration Project phase two (LAP2), launched in October last year, was an indication of the government’s commitment in tackling land problems.

Mr Opoku said the implementation of the LAP2 had started in the region and called on stakeholders to support in helping to achieve the anticipated results.

The Deputy Regional Minister expressed concern about chieftaincy disputes and land litigation, which had led to disturbances at Yeji, Kwame-Danso and Berekum.

He advised the Regional House of Chiefs and the OASL to intervene to help resolve such disputes.

Mr Opoku said since proper and efficient land management was very important to nation building the participants should take the conference seriously and deliberate on issues that would facilitate national development.

Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi II, President of the Regional House of Chiefs who presided over the programme said the theme for the conference was appropriate with the discovery of oil and gas fields off the West Coast of Ghana and gold and mineral deposits that had their attendant environmental and other problems.

“At this crucial period in Ghana’s history, it is absolutely important that all available land resources are effectively and efficiently managed…to become a crucial component of the national development agenda”, Osahene Aterkyi who is the paramount chief of Kukuom, said.

Source: GNA

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