A lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, who is also the Chief Executive of Gyams Group of Companies and Author of Ghana Land In Focus, Engr. Dr. Ebenezer Gyamera has added his voice to the numerous calls by the general public for the lands Commission to be revamped and retooled with adequate logistics and personnel to help it perform its work satisfactorily.
Speaking at the Ghana Association of Public Administration and Managers GAPAM, 1st International conference in Cape Coast, a research he conducted, he said there are still numerous bottlenecks in acquiring land title registration in Ghana which should have been stress-free in the acquisition of property.
According to him, out of a sample size of 1000, 56% said the performance of the commission is poor, 31% were indifferent while 13% said the commissions performance was good.
Dr. Gyamera who also doubles as a surveyor attributed this abysmal performance and perception by the public to various factors such as indiscipline among staff, resulting in the manipulation of official records and charging of unapproved fees.
According to him, the four divisions of the commission are not performing well due sometimes to duplication of functions by staff. He said “for instance. The public and vested land management Division (PVLMD) sometimes parade themselves as surveyors, the town and country planning officers also parade themselves as such even though each of these Divisions has different job descriptions”.
He said people then fall prey to these individuals who offer them one form of assistance or the other as result of pressure at the regional offices.” the resultant effect is that they would extort money from them in their effort to assist them, he added.
Dr. Gyamera stated among other things that for the land Commission to discharge their mandated role effectively and efficiently, their fees should be published in order to prevent any of the officials from charging unapproved fees.
somebody can charge you GHC 5,000.000, GHC 10,000.000 etc. for a service which may cost less than that and so if the fees are known by the general public, they would have the best of service”. He noted.
He mentioned that the newly created client service Access unit of the Commission should also be monitored adequately to provide client credible information and serve them well to avoid existing situations where all manner of persons tend to provide client information thereby distorting them to the detriment of the Institution.
The lecturer further recommended that Lands Commission should as a matter of urgency decentralize its operations to all parts of the country particularly access to surveyors instead of moving to Accra and other regional offices.
On the issue of record keeping by the Commission, Dr. Gyamera indicated that the record keeping division should be manned by permanent staff and not by any other Personnel especially National service Personnel as they are not always there to offer solutions when the arise.
“They create problems and leave and so only permanent staff should be made to work in the record Division and sack all unofficial workers”, he maintained.
On some of the challenges associated with managing clients, he suggested the Commission should engage a trained Public relations person who has the requisite knowledge and skills in this area in order to avoid situations where anybody all can speak especially at the regional level.