As part of efforts to transform the operations of the Lands Commission and improve its services, government will sign a contract with a Ghanaian-owned private investor to inject US$85 million into the Commission’s operations.
The contract agreement is expected to be signed between the Lands Commission and the PDB Ghana Limited, a wholly-owned Ghanaian Land Administration Company, by the end of this year.
The contract will span a period of five years, which will see major transformation in the operations of the Commission.
Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, announced this during a familiarisation visit to the Client Services and Access Unit of the Lands Commission in Accra, on Tuesday.
The Government, he said, had tasked the Office of the Attorney-General, the Ministry of Finance, Public Procurement Authority and Pricewaterhouse Coopers to scrutinise the contract agreement to ensure value for money.
Key performance indicators would be clearly spelt out in the Agreement for the private investor to meet.
The Deputy Minister expressed the belief that the injection of funds into the Commission’s operations would bring efficiency and enhance service delivery.
“There will be structural and administrative reforms, which will improve the Commission’s revenue mobilisation drive and eventually change the ‘bad image’ the public had about the Lands Commission,” he said.
Asked whether the involvement of a private investor would not increase the cost of services of the Commission, Mr Owusu-Bio said it was the responsibility of Parliament to determine its fees and charges, hence there would not be any arbitrary increase in them.
Mr Benjamin Arthur, the Executive Secretary, Lands Commission, said the injection of private capital into the Commission’s operations would enable it to undertake digital mapping of the entire country.
The digital data from the mapping could be accessed by various public and private entities for spatial planning purposes.
“We shall establish a National Spatial Data Infrastructure, which will allow all agencies to tap into it, and this will help improve data quality, standardisation and generate a lot of money for the Commission,” Mr Arthur said.
He explained that the repayment of the private investor’s funds would be spread over a long period through the Commission’s internally generated funds.
On the Commission’s ongoing digitalisation programme, Mr Arthur said it had established online portals, which enabled clients to put in their applications in the comfort of their homes.
He said clients could also make payments of various fees and charges through the Ghana.gov. portal, with 23 banks hooked onto it.
He announced the Commission’s intentions to intensify public sensitisation and public education drive on its services in the coming days.
On the recent changes at the Client Services and Access Unit, Mr Arthur said the Commission had assigned senior technical professionals to frontline duties to prevent previous shortfalls and technical errors in land registration.
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