The Acting Central Regional Stool Lands Officer , Office of the Administration of Stool Lands (OASL), Mr. Prince Gyapong has said the establishment of Customary Land Secretariats (CLSs) in the country was not to deprive traditional councils and land owners of their property.


He said CLSs were rather specialized offices established by Local Land Owning Committees with support from the government to improve upon land management and administration.
Mr. Gyapong said this at a sensitization workshop held at Twifo Atti Morkwa on Tuesday to educate the Traditional Council and other land owners ahead of the establishment of a CLS in the area.
He said the establishment of the CLSs was an initiative of the government through the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources with OASL as its lead agency.
It is part of the second phase of the Land Administration Project (LAP-2) funded by the International Development Association and other development partners.
LAP, which is under the National Land Policy, is aimed at reducing poverty, enhancing of economic and social growth by improving security of tenure, simplifying the process of acquiring land , improving the land market and land management system though efficient land administration by both the state and customary land owners.
Under LAP-1 in 2003, a total of 34 CLSs were set up nationwide and the already set up secretariats including the Asantehene?s Secretariat in Kumasi, Akyem Abuakwa Lands Secretariat in Kyebi and Gbawe Kwatei Family Secretariat in Accra have been strengthened.
Mr. Gyapong said lack of proper documentation and land dealings in the country had led to several land disputes and conflicts claiming many lives and property in addition to the driving away investors.
He said under the operation of the CLS, which would be manned by local people, there would be a well constituted Land Management Committee (LMC) which would ensure local participation in land management and simple land management procedures.
He said the function of CLS would include the promotion of Alternative Resolution Disputes (ADR) and records keeping on land related public disputes, preparation of periodic reports on all activities of the secretariat including accounts and expenditure on the local land transaction as well as receive all correspondence on behalf of the LMC.
The secretariat, he said, would also be mandated to keep and maintain up to date records, provide information about the land owning community to the public and in addition, serve as a link between the land owning community and public servant agencies.

The President of the Twifo Atti Morkwa Traditional Council, Oseadeeyo Kwesi Kennin IV, pledged the support of the Council and other land owners for the establishment of the secretariat and promised to provide office space and other necessities to ensure the initiative achieved its intended objectives.



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