Thank you Mr Speaker, for allowing me to contribute to the Statement on the floor on “Effective Land Administration in Ghana -- A case for the Lands Commission.”
Mr Speaker, in 2008 to be precise, 29th October, 2008, this same issue was discussed and debated when we were passing the Lands Commission Bill into an Act. I quite remember at that time, the issue on the floor was that we should just leave it as it is and then later on, the Hon Minister for Finance should come with an L. I. to amend the Act 735 -- the Fees Act, so that at least, that issue of the retention
would be left to the discretion of the Hon Minister for Finance.
Mr Speaker, today, five years later, we are here discussing this same issue. Mr Speaker, as we speak now, our own peers, our country peers whom we started the Land Administration Project with, countries like Uganda, have left us behind. Quite recently, your Committee visited Uganda and Mr Speaker, what we saw there, I would say that we felt too bad and ashamed because, how could we start something with a peer country and just within five years, they have moved past way beyond what we are doing here.
Mr Speaker, in Uganda, it takes them three days -- and I would emphasise on this fact -- three days if there is no objection to a land title being registered -- then within three days, the person ap- plying receives a Land Title Certificate. They had this same problem just as us. Five years ago, they were where we are now, but with effective management, effective administration, the Government paying particular attention to what they were doing, resourcing them, now, they are far ahead.
Mr Speaker, Uganda has already passed its Lands Act, including its Regulation. I remember four years ago, I was invited as a Committee member to attend a workshop in Koforidua to discuss the Lands Bill. Mr Speaker, I am still an Hon Member of this Committee, if you ask me today whether we have gone anywhere with this Lands Bill, I would tell you “No, it is still on the drawing board”.
Aside that, Uganda has set up de- centralised zonal offices. Mr Speaker, they have zoned the country into six and depending on where you are, you the ap- plicant can go to any of these zonal offices
to access any land information that you want. They have digitized 40 per cent of their maps including their auto photos. At the same time, currently, their banks and financial institutions, legal practitioners, their courts are all accessing information from their Land Commission --