There is an extremely worrying trend in Ghana which when not treated with dispatch portends a dark future for our country as many Ghanaians have embarked on mass selling of their lands to foreign residents in Ghana which may end up denying future generations of land for both residential and commercial purposes.
The above is the summation of Mr.Prosper Afetsi, president of the Foundation of Generational Thinkers, FOGET, in a press statement in Accra yesterday to warn of the impending dangers in the unbridled sale of land especially in Accra’s suburbs.
Continuing, Mr. Afetsi said though there are no restrictions on foreigners buying landed property in Ghana, the1992 Constitution gave the duration within which a non-Ghanaian could make use of the property as not beyond 50 years while a bona fide Ghanaian has 99 years to enjoy his property.
He therefore questioned how these foreigners came to acquire these landed properties.
“It is interesting how suddenly one has seen non-Ghanaians putting up residential mansions in the surrounding areas of Accra – from Afienya to Dawhenya, Kokrobitey, Gbawe-Malam to Kasoa and beyond including even such remote settlements as Adeiso, Bawjiase etc.
“My question is: how are these individuals getting to know and buy land in such far flung places. Have they gotten the necessary approvals from the authorities, are they legally resident in Ghana and most essentially are the property owners aware of the law which only demands that foreigners own the land for a limited period.
“The way we are disposing off our land to foreigners portends grave danger to the country’s future and our national security,” he added.
Recounting some instances, he said there was a recent police operation at the Barrier-Kasoa road where someforeigners, with properties in the area turned themselves into a nightmare anda nuisance to their neighbours.
These foreigners turned the area into a wee-smoking zone, not caring that it is illegal to do that both in their country and ours. Any word of caution from a Ghanaian was greeted with insults and other unsavoury comments as they in addition harass passersby.
“It took the intervention of the police to arrest some while the others bolted. But why should this be?
“At the risk of being called a jingoist or an extremist, I make haste to tell Ghanaian land owners to pause and think before selling their lands to these foreigners many of who are from the West African coast in addition to the Chinese who are also getting notoriety for underhand dealings.
“Many may have forgotten that Budumbura was an empty, vast tract of land, where citizens from Liberia and Sierra Leone fleeing the civil wars were resettled with United Nations support.With the passage of time, these foreigners sold their plots of land to others who have now become landed property owners using definitely illegal documents as the foreigners have no original title to the land.
“The fact is that most of these foreigners are coming with foreign currencies and therefore find it easier and cheaper to buy our land in large tracks ostensibly for future sale to others. In addition, the vast amounts at their disposal has allowed them to price the parcel of land way above the prevailing market rate in Ghanaian terms thereby making it difficult for the indigenes to acquire land.
“The foreigners have therefore been able to buy the most expensive pieces of land and houses in such exclusive neighbourhoods such as Trassaco Valley, East Legon, Cantonments and such areas previously populated by diplomatic missions and representatives of foreign business conglomerates.
“If care is not taken, our land, our heritage from our forefathers, will one day not be ours as we would have sold all to foreigners who would have built their settlements in our cities while we the indigenes will be pushed farther away to the outskirts and that may create a security nightmare for us,” he added.
In conclusion, Mr. Afetsi called fora radical review of the law on land acquisition especially as it concerns non-Ghanaians and make it illegal for foreigners to own land except for commercial purposes.