Licensed Surveyors Association of Ghana (LISAG), in its quest to contribute its quota towards the attainment of the Government’s policy objective of “Ghana beyond aid” in the land sector, has disclosed its intention to undertake a rigorous advocacy actions that will inure to the enforcement of Regulations 10 of Legislative Instrument (L.I. 1444) which deals with “Plan of Partly Surveyed Land not to be Approved”.

This will however, pave way for the enforcement of Section(1) and subsection (d) of Article 258 of the constitutional mandate of the Lands Commission to ensure “the execution of a comprehensive programme for the registration of title to land throughout Ghana.

Despite considerable improvement in techniques and advancement of surveys and availability of more qualified surveyors than before, security of land ownership and the quality of land registration system are affected by inaccurate survey of plans.

The Licensed Surveyor cannot be ignored in the quest to find solutions to these problems. Licensed Surveyors Association of Ghana (LISAG), has therefore vowed to lead the crusade to collaborate with the Lands Commission, Government and other stakeholders in the land sector to eliminate this national cancer.

Addressing the media in a press conference at the Ghana International Press Centre on Wednesday 16th October, 2019, on the communique issued at the end of the maiden seminar and general meeting of the Licensed Surveyors Association of Ghana (LISAG), which was held at Best Western Premier Accra Airport Hotel, on october 9-10, 2019, the President of the LISAG, Surveyor Kwame Tenadu Snr, intimated that, complying with professional ethics, LISAG will do proper introspection of its members to improve their ethical standards.

Surveyor Tenadu, emphasized that, LISAG, will strengthen its internal mechanism used to discipline its members who indulge in unprofessional and unethical survey activities, and further entreats the general public to report the activities of unscrupulous Licensed Surveyors to the Association’s Secretariat for action.

According to him, “LISAG will collaborate with the Lands Commission and the law enforcement agencies to clampdown on the nefarious activities of imposters and persons not licensed to practice cadastral surveying. LISAG will further develop strategies to ensure that its members deliver value to all stakeholders and esteem customers in the country. We therefore caution the general public to be diligent when engaging the services of Surveyors.”

He also disclosed that, “The Association will take steps to expose, name, shame and punish its members who front for unauthorised surveyors. This measure is intended to safeguard and ensure integrity in the delivery of cadastral surveying services throughout the country.”

Read Below The Full Communique;

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE MAIDEN SEMINAR AND GENERAL MEETING OF THE LICENSED SURVEYORS ASSOCIATION OF GHANA (LISAG) HELD AT BEST WESTERN PREMIER ACCRA AIRPORT HOTEL, ON OCTOBER 9-10, 2019.

Preamble

The Maiden Seminar and General Meeting of the Licensed Surveyors Association of Ghana (LISAG) was successfully held at Best Western Premier Accra Airport Hotel, from 9th to 10th October, 2019. The theme of the Seminar was “Land Ownership and Registration: The Role of the Licensed Surveyor”.

Licensed Surv. Alhaji Iddirisu Abu Kumbung Naa Yiri (II), the Paramount Chief of Kumbungu Traditional Area, a Former Director of Surveys, and Patron of LISAG, who was the Special Guest of Honour, presided over the meeting. His Lordship Justice Gabriel Pwamang, a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, was the Guest Speaker.

Presentation and Discussions

The seminar was necessitated as part of the Associations’ desire to contribute its quota towards the achievement of the Ghana Government’s policy objective of “Ghana beyond aid” in the land sector. There was the urgent need for the Association to adopt a local strategy and mobilise workforce to mitigate the endless incidents of land disputes and years of trials and expensive adventure relying largely on foreign advice and borrowed capital for land reforms in the country.

The meeting noted that unethical behaviour, disproportional representation of Licensed Surveyors across the regions, litigation, ignorance, inaccurate survey plans, among others, affect security of land ownership and the quality of land registration in Ghana. The presentations further underscored the pivotal role of Licensed Surveyors in finding solutions to the recent endless incidents of land ownership disputes in Ghana.

Recommendations

Following the discussions and interactions, therefore, we the participants of the Maiden LISAG Seminar 2019 make the following recommendations and conclusions:

1)Commendation to Government: LISAG recognises the efforts being made by governments to ensure security of tenure and improve land services delivery in Ghana through digitisation. LISAG applauds the current government’s efforts on the operational reforms at the Lands Commission to reduce length of time for land registration. LISAG pledges its support to government towards this important national agenda.

2)Enforcement of laws and regulations: The meeting noted that weak and more often, lack of enforcement of the laws and regulations governing the surveying profession in Ghana, provide space for the activities of quacks. LISAG therefore urges the Lands Commission, as the regulator, to take urgent steps to strictly enforce laws and regulations such as the Survey Act 1962, (Act 127), the Lands Commission Act 2008, Act 767, the Land Title Registration law 1986, PNDCL 152 and the Survey (Supervision and Approval of Plans) Regulation 1986 (L.I. 1444), all of which have obligations on Surveyors. To support this agenda, LISAG will soon embark on serious advocacy actions that would compel strict enforcement of Regulations 10 of L.I. 1444 which deals with “Plan of Partly Surveyed Land not to be Approved”.

3)Complying with Professionals Ethics: LISAG will do proper introspection of its members to improve their ethical standards. LISAG will strengthen its internal mechanism used to discipline its members who indulge in unprofessional and unethical survey activities. LISAG entreats the general public to report the activities of unscrupulous Licensed Surveyors to the Association’s Secretariat for action.

4)Elimination of quacks and protection of our clients/public: LISAG will collaborate with the Lands Commission and the law enforcing agencies to clampdown on the nefarious activities of imposters and persons not licensed to practice cadastral surveying. LISAG will further develop strategies to ensure that its members deliver value to all stakeholders and esteem customers in the country. We therefore caution the general public to be diligent when engaging the services of Surveyors.

5)Fronting for non-professionals: The Association will take steps to expose, name, shame and punish its members who front for unauthorised surveyors. This measure is intended to safeguard and ensure integrity in the delivery of cadastral surveying services throughout the country.

6)Land guards: The activities of “land guards” though outlawed continue to pose a security challenges to Licensed Surveyors. The Association will intensify its existing collaboration with the Ghana Police and its specialized agencies to ensure that such areas where the attacks occur are boycotted and blacklisted by our members refusing to extend its services to those areas.

7)Survey of public and vested lands: LISAG has accepted the invitation by the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission to collaborate in protecting public and vested lands. We therefore call on the Lands Commission to make available to our members plans of such public and vested lands to guide the conduct of its members and the public at large.

8)Delays in the approval of plans: Delays in the land documentation processes has been partly attributed to the preparation of cadastral plans. Licensed Surveyors recognise efforts such as the barcoding being made by the regulator to put quality control in the preparation of cadastral plans. The meeting urged the Survey and Mapping Divisions (SMD) of the Lands Commission to put measures in place to speed up the approval procedures in order to improve the service delivery to our clients. LISAG recommends that the Lands Commission, as a matter of urgency, decentralize the services at the CSAU in the Greater Accra region to improve upon the turnaround time for barcoded plan approval. This will also discourage or minimise the use of “certified plans” handed over to unsuspecting Clients for land registration.

9)Survey and registration of allodial boundaries: The meeting identified that security of titles to individual property rights and ownership in the country and subsequent registration of these rights are greatly affected by the absence of approved cadastral boundary plans on allodial interest holdings and protracted land disputes among the land holding groups. LISAG supports the efforts of the Land Registration Division (LRD) of the Lands Commission to ensure that before individual parcels within allodial boundaries are registered, their parent boundary should have been surveyed and registered. LISAG is ready to engage with all the stakeholders to determine appropriate fees for the survey of the allodial boundaries and the modalities for payment.

10)Judgement plans: The meeting emphasised that the existence of so many conflicting judgements on land disputes is partly due to unavailability of judgement plans. LISAG applauds the Supreme Court of Ghana’s directive that judgements on land boundary disputes must be accompanied with judgement plans before they can be enforceable. The Association is ready to support the law Courts in the country to enforce this important directive.

11)Assigning Licensed Surveyors to MMDA’s: To ensure proper planning and supervision of the built environment at the local level, LISAG prays the Lands Commission and the Ministry of Local Government to institute a policy that assigns Licensed Surveyors to MMDAs.

12) Preparation of local plans: The meeting observed that regional, district and municipal capitals and commercial centres need up-to-date local plans for their planning and management. LISAG is ready to partner with the Lands Commission to use appropriate technology to provide base maps to Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUSPA) to prepare local plans for the MMDAs.

Conclusions

Despite considerable improvement in techniques and advancement of surveys and availability of more qualified surveyors than before, security of land ownership and the quality of land registration system are affected by inaccurate survey of plans. The Licensed Surveyor cannot be ignored in the quest to find solutions to these problems. Licensed Surveyors Association of Ghana (LISAG) will lead the crusade to collaborate with the Lands Commission, Government and other stakeholders in the land sector to eliminate this national cancer.

Long Live Licensed Surveyors Association of Ghana (LISAG)

Long Live Ghana

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