Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng

The new 17-member Governing Board of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUSPA) has been inaugurated in Accra to help address conflicting land uses, urban sprawl and haphazard development of human settlements in the country.

“I entreat you to initiate proactive measures that would ensure the judicious use of land and sustainable development of human settlements in Ghana in accordance with sound planning and environmental principles,” Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), told the new board on Friday.

Chaired by Professor Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, a former Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the Board is mandated, under the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016, Act 925, to ensure the efficient performance of the functions of the Authority, and initiate policies, programmes and projects for the proper functioning of the Authority.

It is also to work to ensure the preparation and submission of the requisite reports while ensuring a sound and proper financial management of the Authority as well as approve budgets and other decisions taken by the Authority as appropriate.

The Board is expected to perform any other functions as directed by Sector Ministry.

Members of the Board include Mr Lawrence Zineh Dakura, the Chief Executive Officer of LUSPA, Mr Sylvanus Kofi Azornu, a Local Government Representative, Madam Salimata Abdul-Salam, Chief Director of MESTI, Mr James Ebenezer Kobina Dadson of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and Mr John Obeng Asiedu of the Ministry of Roads and Highways.

Others are; Mr Yahaya Hameed Yakubu of Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr Seth Osei-Akoto, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ms Christine Okae Asare, a representative of Environmental Protection Agency, Dr Winnifred Kwabena Anim-Odame, Executive Secretary of Lands Commission, Mrs Christine Esi Bobobee of the Administration of Stool Lands.

The rest are: Mr Otchere Kwame B Awuah, Director General National Development Planning Commission, Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI, Chief of Osu, Mr Alfred Kwasi Opoku, Ghana Institute of Planners, Mr Jonathan Zinzi Ayitey of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors, Mr Joseph Emmanuel Hayford of the Ghana Institute of Architects and Madam Celestina Allotey of the Ghana Institute of Engineers.

While congratulating the Board, Prof Frimpong-Boateng, charged the members to collaborate with the relevant stakeholders, particularly, the Spatial Planning Committee at the regional and districts levels, and the land sector agencies to address the menace of haphazard settlements that continue to aggravate the effects of natural disasters.

He said even though urbanisation was critical to national development, it was evident that the prevailing rapid urbanisation with the foregoing effects of unplanned settlements posed major risk to the sustainable livelihood of the people.

He therefore expressed the hope that the inauguration of the Board would kick-start the inauguration of the regional and district Spatial Planning Committees to help streamline the functional relationships between the national, regional and districts levels of governance in the performance of their spatial planning and human settlement management duties.

The Minister also assured the Board of Government’s resolve and the Ministry’s commitment to provide an enabling environment that would facilitate the discharge of the responsibilities of the members.

Prof Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa said by the inauguration, the Board was being called upon to make an input into a critical area of the national development agenda at a time when much efforts was required in the management and development of human settlement, be they urban or rural.

He noted that LUSPA, which was formerly Town and Country Planning Department, had suffered staffing situation although the KNUST had churned out more than seven batches of Human Settlement planners to fill the staffing gap, but most of the graduates were currently unemployed as the Authority could not obtain financial clearance to employ new staff.

He, therefore, noted that the dire state of the workforce of the Authority and the inadequate funds for operation were among the key interventions that would be taken on board following the assumption of the office, and so the government’s support would be really needed.

Source: GNA/Newsghana.com.gh