Government to develop guidelines on demolitions

Government is to develop guidelines to regulate the demolition of properties to conform to Ghana’s laws and statutes in order to uphold the rights of citizens and to deal with institutional ineffectiveness.

President John Mahama, who announced this in Parliament on Tuesday when delivering his State of the Nation Address, said the plan would ensure that public institutions and their heads were held accountable for their in-actions that lead to illegal development on state lands.

President Mahama noted that rapid urbanization was leading to institutional failures, thus creating indiscipline and lawlessness and that it was time government took the necessary steps to strengthen public institutions to perform their functions creditably.

He blamed recent devastating demolitions that had rendered many homeless and hopeless on the failure of heads of public institutions who had not discharged their duties as mandated of them, saying, “it was time they were held culpable for their actions.”

“These institutions are expected to act in a timely manner in protecting state-owned lands….It doesn’t help to go to sleep on ones right only to suddenly awake up one day and seek to enforce those rights by measures as drastic as demolition,” he noted.

Recent demolitions have sparked public outrage, bringing to the fore questions as to why authorities stand aloof and watch people develop on unauthorised areas only to demolish structures put up with people’s live saving, when this could have been prevented.

Most critics trace the illegal development to the door step of authorities, who sometimes even give permit for those structures but later deny doing so when the heat is turned on them.