Samuel Amegayibor – Executive Secretary of GREDA, Hanna Atiase – Director of Training and Education at GAR and Chris Nii Abbosey – Real Estate Broker and Developer (CBC Properties)
Some key stakeholders in Ghana’s Real Estate industry have commended the Lands Commission for its new policy targeted at automating and consolidating land search reports starting October 1, 2021.
According to these industry players, although long overdue; it is a step in the right direction and a game changer. They also pledged support to the success of the new system which they believe will form the basis for more future land administration reforms.
In a recent notice, the Commission announced that “From 1st October 2021, the Lands Commission, Greater Accra Region will no longer issue separate search reports from its divisions, thus Public and Vested Land Management Division (PVLMD), Land Registration Division (LRD) as well as Survey and Mapping Division (SMD).”
Thus, records from these divisions will be consolidated into one Land Commission search report with all necessary information, the statement issued on Thursday, September 23, 2021 noted.
More so, from October 1, applications for searches should be submitted online through https://onlineservices.lc.gov.gh. The Commission’s Client Service Access Unit (CSAU) will assist clients to comply with the online application process. Applicants can also make payments through the same system and track their applications online until their report is ready.
Reacting to this initiative, Samuel Amegayibor who is the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) said “This has come about as a result of wider earlier consultations on hindrances in the registration and land acquisition documentation processes.”
He said the uncoordinated search process was identified as a challenge, hence “it’s refreshing to note the active steps to remedy the time and stress it takes to get all of it done.”
He was hopeful that “the online search application will take cognizance of the actual size of site plans that will be sent through, as the site must remain the same to be able to superimpose on existing site plans to conduct searches.”
Gustav Kplom Asamoah – Licensed Surveyor and Executive Director of (LiSAG)
Hanna Atiase, the Director of Training and Education at the Ghana Association of Real Estate Brokers (GAR) in commending the initiative expressed the hope that the automated process will reduce the frustrations the public endured at the different divisions. “With this new process, the manual, tedious and uncoordinated process involved in paying money to three different divisions, making separate follow-ups and time wasted in traffic and long queues will come to an end,” she noted.
It will reduce risk on the side of brokers, agents, property buyers and vendors. More so, it will make land documents public and accessible; thus transparent and restore public confidence in land transaction.
Madam Atiase, who is also the CEO of E.Wells Realty, added that the new system guarantees information security and authenticity of documents; thereby reducing channels of disputes and litigations. She advised the Lands Commission to consider block chain technology to make it impossible for unscrupulous people to infiltrate, change, hack or cheat the system.
A Real Estate Developer and Broker, Chris Nii Abbosey (CBC Properties Limited) emphasized that the initiative will also erase the fear and restore the confidence that Ghanaians in the diaspora and investors have in acquiring properties in Ghana. This is because from the comfort of their location, “they can apply and track land searches to understand the genealogy of the land and ascertain the validity of the ownership before making payments to a third party, owner or vendor.”
He however recommended the setting up of the various Family, Clans and Stool Secretariats across the country. More so, the Lands Commission Should make public a map of jurisdictions and various ownerships and interests in all lands especially, plotted and confirmed court judgements thereof to reduce land disputes to the barest minimum.
Gustav Kplom Asamoah, a Licensed Surveyor and Executive Director of the Licensed Surveyors Association of Ghana (LiGA) described the automation process as a testament of Government-Private Sector collaboration in improving land services delivery in Ghana.
Although he was confident in the new online system, he stressed that “every new system may have some teething challenges. When it happens like that let us all support the Commission to rectify them and keep improving till we have a very efficient system.
He also called for constant sensitization, monitoring and evaluation of staff at the Commission to ensure they consistently do the right things to let the system work.
Mr. Asamoah observed that “Change is difficult, but the public should cooperate with the commission and other stakeholders to make the system efficient and effective.”
He assured the Lands Commission of the unflinching support of the Licensed Surveyors in Ghana in making land services one of the best on the African continent.
From Fred Duodu (email@example.com)