The Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, has bemoaned what he described as the reckless doling out of prime state lands in the Volta Region by the Regional Lands Officer to private individuals.
The Regional Minister said his office received with shock the decision by the Regional Lands Officer, Gershon Tsraa, to grant a 99-year lease to private entities to occupy strategic lands located around major government installations.
The appropriation he said, were mostly done during the transition period when the new government was about to take over power.
Dr. Letsa said the decision does not only threaten the security of top government officials residing in those areas, but also questions morality as the integral segment of the communities that bequeathed the lands to government seethe with anger, while those lands are being given out to private individuals.
“Indeed, I have received an out-pour of complaints since I took office as the President’s Representative for the Volta Region about this Infilling Exercise. The complaints were from occupants of public bungalows and ordinary people. The Infilling Exercise is a massive and extensive exercise where allocations have been made too close to the Residency, bungalows of government institutions and public officials to the total neglect of the attendant security implications. I, being Regional Minister, have made known my outrage at the concept behind the exercise as a whole, and had without mincing words, called for an immediate halt to the exercise” he said.
Beneficiaries according to the Minister, took advantage of prime areas around the Residency, Ring road and Kabore enclaves, where top officials including the Municipal Chief Executive, the BNI Boss, Police Commander, Director of Health Services and others reside.
He said “notwithstanding, the so-called Infilling Exercise by the Volta Regional Lands Commission has created numerous plots of land for allocation to individuals which exhausts the entire land space which will be necessary for future state uses or projects”.
Addressing the media on Sunday, the Minister said the land officer has been directed by the sector minister John Peter Amewu, to step aside for further investigations and review of the said transactions.
“Statutes may well permit the Lands Commission to grant leases and licenses, but where the land is one held in trust by the President on behalf of the people of Ghana, there is a duty to be guided by that which is in the greater interest such as will not disregard their sensibilities as has occurred in this exercise. I am reliably informed however, that the plots have been demarcated, leases executed and few persons have paid awaiting registration. They should be reassured their monies shall be returned upon proof of the payment should the assessment lead to the reversal of the exercise” he added.