Members of the National House of Chiefs have been taken through the new Lands Law, Act 1036 of 2020, which is a blend of existing laws and new ones providing a comprehensive regulatory framework on ownership, acquisition, security, and revenue from land as well as punishment against breaches of the law.

A Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Forestry, Mr. Benito Owusu Bioh, urged traditional leaders, who, together with families, own about 80 percent of the total lands in Ghana, to accept and own the Act and also make input into the promulgation of a Legislative Instrument for the operationalisation of the law in the interest of peace, order and posterity.

The 3rd General Meeting of the National House of Chiefs was also used by the President of the House, Ogyeahohuo Yaw Gyebi, who is also the paramount chief of Sefwi Ahwiaso in the Western North region, to swear into the House three of the five representatives of the Western region.

Ogueahohuo Yaw Gyebi-Prez, NHC.

They are Angama Tu-Gyan, chief of Dwira; Tetrete Okuamoah, Wassa; and Obrempong Hema Dekyi of Upper Discove. They swore the Oath of Office while the Supervising High Court Judge of Kumasi, Justice Kofi Akrowiah, took them through the Official Oath and Oath of Secrecy to allow them to assume their duties and privileges.

Swearing-in of the Reps of the Western Regional House of Chiefs.

There was also a delegation of the Local Government Studies led by its Director, Professor Nicholas Awortwe, to solicit the views of the chiefs on the Democratic Decentralisation Reforms in Ghana, particularly the proposed amendment to Articles 55(3), 242(d), and 243 of the 1992 Constitution towards the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives as well as making the local level elections partisan.

Similarly, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Benito Owusu Bioh, led members of the Lands Commission to educate members of the House on key provisions of the new Lands law, Act 1036 of 2020, and the Land Administration Act.

The Act provides for the ownership, acquisition, security, and tenure of lands in the country.

A group photograph of the Ministry’s delegation and Prez of the NHC, Ogueahohuo Yaw Gyebi.

Additionally, the Act proscribes the use of thugs, otherwise known as ‘Land Guards,” and encroachment on compulsorily acquired lands with the stipulated punishment.

The Administrator of Stool Lands, Mrs. Ama Edumadze-Aquah, said it is now mandatory for every Traditional Council to set up a Secretariat purposely for the administration of Customary Lands within its jurisdiction. She entreated the chiefs to closely monitor the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the utilisation of revenue from the stool lands.

“Regulation 21 of the L.I. calls on District Assemblies to use their 55 % share of the Stool Land revenue for the development of projects in their catchment areas and also associated general expenditure. Also, it is expected that the Assemblies shall indicate that the project has been funded with Stool Land revenue by labeling it as such when it is completed,” the Stool Lands Administrator disclosed.

A Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, in charge of Forestry, Mr. Benito Owusu Bioh, urged traditional leaders, who together with families own about 80 per cent of the total lands in the country, to appreciate and own the new Lands law, Act 1036 of 2020 while making an input into the formulation and enactment of the required Legislative Instrument for the law’s operationalization.

Mr. Owusu Bioh entreated “the members of the House of Chiefs to embrace the provisions of this Act to help bring sanity to our land sector. Also, the House should deliberate on the Act and propose inputs to the Ministry for consideration in drafting the L.I. for the Act.”