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Why it is impossible for Land Ministry to provide data on state lands transferred to individuals since 2017

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Abu Jinapor- Lands and Natural resources Minister

Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor says due to the large volume of data on state lands transferred to private individuals in Accra since 2017, it may be impossible for the Ministry to provide information on such matters during the lifetime of this Parliament.

Appearing before the House on Wednesday to answer questions from the Members of Parliament, Samuel Abu Jinapor said only 10 percent of information on state lands in Accra have been digitised.

This, he said will make it difficult to provide answers on such matters at least till the end of this 8th Parliament.

“Only 10 percent of data in the Greater Accra Region has been scanned and digitised, the remaining 90 percent are manually generated and processed. Officers of the Lands Commission, therefore, have to manually go through volumes of documents to put the data together.

Land Ministry unlikely to provide data on state lands transferred to individuals since 2017 – Samuel Abu Jinapor
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor

“I must, however, Mr. Speaker, add candidly that I have been advised by the Lands Commission that with the volume of work involved in this exercise, it may be near impossible to put together this data at least during the lifetime of this Parliament,” he said on the floor of the House.

But Member of Parliament for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza expressed shock over the Minister’s response to the question.

He claimed the Minister is simply trying to evade accountability.

“I am totally shocked by the answers provided by the Minister. The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources is failing this country in that he is incapable of providing data on landed property belonging to the government which had then been transferred to individuals or entities and also had compensation paid in Greater Accra Region alone.

“You can account for 7 million trees across the whole country yet you cannot count some landed properties that have been transferred within Greater Accra. That is a miracle, Mr. Minister,” he said.

Civil Society Organisations have recently called for the government to provide accountability on state lands transferred to private individuals.

This was after it emerged that the former Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John has bequeathed portions of the Achimota Forest lands to some persons.

OccupyGhana in a press statement in May asked the Lands Minister to commence a public inquiry into all state lands returned to pre-acquisition owners since the coming to being of the 4th Republican Constitution on January 7, 1993.

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