Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, says land acquisition is one of the major hindrances to the development of businesses in Ghana.
According to him, many businesses are reluctant in establishing in Ghana due to the complex nature of acquiring land and exorbitant rent advance charges.
To make the environment business friendly, the Senior Minister promised that government will take a second look at the land acquisition system in the country to make it easier for businesses to acquire land.
Mr Osafo-Maafo, who made this known when he appeared before the Appointments Committee recently said, “The method for acquiring land in this country is too complicated for anyone to understand.
“To really make the environment business friendly, we got to look at the land acquisition system in this country. People come to this country, ready to invest but most of them are put off because of multiple sale of the same land to people. Sometimes it is embarrassing,” he said.
Two-Year Advance Rent
The Senior Minister bemoaned the two or more years rent advance that property owners take before renting out their property, stating that there is nowhere in the world that rent is paid for two years.
He said, “When there was a problem in Cote d’Ivoire, people wanted to relocate to Ghana but they were put off by rent advance. These are some of the things that may not look so obvious harmful to the economy but it’s harmful to the economy. These are areas we have to look at to make the environment business friendly.”
The Minister-Designate for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, also explained to the media after his nomination by the President that the limited housing units had led to exorbitant rent advance payment.
“We know that what has given strength to exorbitant rent advance payment is because the units are less than the needs. So if you don’t want to pay rent advance, then excuse me to say find your space but not here.
“If the houses are few you have under carpet dealings. Housing scarcity is underlying the whole arrangement so we need to solve the scarcity problem,” he said.
Mr Atta Akyea said, “If there are several houses that people can go into, then this exorbitant way of extorting money from house users will go down considerably.”
He stressed the need to enforce the law regarding rent in the country.
By Cephas Larbi