Director of the Public Vested Land and Management Division (PVLMD), Mr Kofi Owusu Poku has admonished chiefs and family heads to guard against the activities of land speculators, which end up making families trespassers on their own lands.
Land speculation is acquiring land, not in good faith for development, but rather keeping it out of production for some sufficiently good time for it to appreciate in value, sell it off and reap the profit.
The practice has assumed alarming proportions with a number of entities under the description of real estate agencies acquiring large tracts of lands from the owners and re-selling them to the public.
The deal, according to the Director, holds no benefit to the national economy nor the original land owner, but the land speculator.
Poku fears the phenomenon would deny posterity a share of the land inheritance bequeathed by their fathers and he indicted chiefs and family heads of not transacting such agreements with the interest of their kinsmen in mind but purely based on the money they stand to gain.
“They sign agreements which even cast them from their own land to the extent that some of them become landless. People have been labelled trespassers on their own land”, the expert revealed.
The PVLMD Director made these observations in an interview with the Goldstreet Business on the side lines of a media engagement organised by the Lands Commission in Accra.
He argued that the country losses heavily as a result of this practice since the acquired lands are kept off production for a long time to assume some higher value, which makes people unemployed.
He advised original land owners to employ the services of professionals in dealing with such transactions to ensure buyers acquire lands for the purpose of development within agreed time frame and not for speculation.
He said owners should also ask of the pedigree of prospective buyers to ascertain their capacities to develop the property.
Poku said the Lands Commission has mandate over stool lands, which constitute between 10 to 20 percent of lands in Accra and has devised procedures for control.
He said the rest of the lands in Accra were largely unregulated, but was hopeful that the new Land Bill, yet to be passed, should have the mechanisms to address some of these challenges.
By Godfred Tawiah Gogo