As part of our continuous effort to assess the progress made in the first half of the year and to strategize for the upcoming months, the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands organized its highly anticipated Mid-Year Performance Review Conference. The conference, held virtually, brought together key stakeholders, including the Administrator of Stool Lands, Directors from the Head Office, Regional Stool Lands Officers (RSLOs), their respective Deputy RSLOs, Regional Accounts, and District Officers from all operational regions across the country.
The primary objective of the conference was to review the performance of the Office for the first half of 2023 in comparison to the targets set at the beginning of the year. Additionally, crucial issues were discussed and decisions were made to further enhance the efficiency and revenue collection of the Office.
Labelling of projects
During the opening remarks, the Administrator of Stool Lands, who also chaired the conference, emphasized on the need for clarity in labeling projects funded with revenue from Stool Lands. She tasked RSLOs to write to the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to enforce labelling source of funding, clarifying that, the projects were financed by Stool Lands revenue and not MDF funds. Although, the Office receive monies as mandated by law from the Mineral Development Fund (MDF) but once the 55% of the revenue are disbursed directly by the Office to the MMDAs, it means that, the OASL is funding the project and not MDF. Proper labeling of projects from inception to completion was deemed necessary to ensure transparency and accountability in the allocation of funds.
Upgrade to Regional Status
One notable announcement during the conference was the plan to upgrade the Upper East Office to a Regional Office before the end of the year. This move reflects the Office’s commitment to expanding its operations and presence in various regions.
Acknowledging achievements and successes, the Northern Regions were commended for their progress in establishing more Customary Lands Secretariats (CLS) year-on-year. The Western North and Bono & Bono East Regions received special praise for their outstanding performance from year-to-date. Furthermore, individual District Officers who demonstrated exceptional revenue collection performance were recognized and rewarded for their commendable efforts.
The “Big Boys” Performance
The Administrator and management praised the Western and Ashanti Regions, affectionately referred to as the “big boys” for consistently delivering impressive results in their revenue performance, year-on-year.
Addressing the issue of digitalization, the Administrator highlighted the importance of embracing the OASL RevApp. She emphasized that the application is “here-to-stay” and urged all Officers to familiarize themselves with its features and functionalities. The Office has plans to develop all phases of the App to further improve data collection, management, and revenue collection processes.
However, the Conference also shed light on some challenges faced by the Office, including inadequate operational logistics, farmland destruction caused by illegal mining activities, and insufficient resources for the full implementation of the OASL RevApp in various regions. Additionally, chieftaincy disputes and conflicts in parts of the Bono & Bono East Regions, Northern, and Upper East Regions hindered operations and had a significant impact on revenue collection efforts. Despite these challenges, the Administrator encouraged RSLOs in affected regions to prioritize the safety of affected Officers and re-strategize for the second part of the year once peace and unity are restored.
The Office reported achieving 63% of its revenue performance target for the first half of the year. Officers were motivated to strive for excellence to surpass the performance targets set for the year. It is evident that, the Office is committed to enhancing transparency, efficiency, and revenue collection through digitalization and effective management strategies. With the organization’s focus on growth and progress, it is poised to make significant strides in the second half of the year, ensuring optimal service delivery and fulfillment of its responsibilities.