Ghana Bar Association is pushing for reforms in the Land Administration Act to make it mandatory for all land transactions to be certified by a lawyer before a sale can take place.
The Association is optimistic that this, when implemented, will address the issue of fraudulent sales of lands and also ensure investors’ confidence in the system.
The land conveyance act of 1973 which currently regulates the sale of land, gives the right to own a land to every Ghanaians.
President of the Ghana Bar Association, Nene Amegatcher, at a meeting with the leadership of Parliament said the Act has brought in its wake fraudsters selling lands indiscriminately.
The current law, he said, has allowed just anyone to handle the sale of land in the country and so we have “estate agents” who put themselves across and represent clients, and receive monies on their behalf.
This practice has created an environment in which several people have been defrauded in the course of purchasing land. Mr Amegatcher was of the opinion that the best practices in land acquisition are those practiced in the UK, where every land put up for sale has to be reviewed by a lawyer who will have to certify necessary documentation.
He reminded lawyers who use the role to manipulate the system that they are governed by a code of ethics and are expected to represent the interests of their clients. He further warned them that once the necessary reforms are completed in the land administration policy, there will be serious sanctions for those who attempt to do so.
Meanwhile, Minority leader of Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has also called for Government to take a serious look at reforming the laws governing the acquisition of lands to ensure orderly development.
He was insistent that Ghana should have a proper means of controlling land use. Comparing the situation in Ghana to that of countries in Southern Africa, where land use is properly regulated, he said that Ghana is “creating 21 st century squatter settlements for ourselves”.
The minority leader stated also that poor regulation was also creating a “veritable disincentive to investors” because of the petty squabbles involved in securing title deeds and other documentation for land.
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