A well thought out orientation program is essential for all new National Service Personnel to officially welcome them into the OASL and assist them know what the Office stands for and how they can perform better to meet our obligation. National Service Personnel often feel ill- equipped in the institutions they are posted to, which hinders their integration and adjustment into the institution to equip them with the mandate of the Office, rules and regulations to improve service delivery.
Management in the region facilitated the orientation activity and took the Service Personnel through the Operations, Administration and Financial Accounting of the Office. The Regional Stool Lands Officer welcomed the personnel and gave a brief introduction about the Office. He continued with an overview of Customary Land Administration in Ghana. He explained the differences between Stool/ Skin lands, family lands, state lands, vested lands and others.
He further explained the difference between the various interests in lands such as the Allodial Title, Customary Freehold, Common Freehold, Leasehold and Customary Tenancies. He also touched on enactments that affect Customary Land Management and Administration in Ghana such as the 1992 Constitution, OASL Act 1994, Act 481, the Lands Commission Act, 2008, Act 767, the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority Act, 2016, Act 925, the Land Act,2020, Act 1036, MDF Act, 2016, Act 912, the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, Act 703 as amended, MIIF Act, 2018, Act 978 and many more. He ended with the Land Acquisition process in Ashanti Region where he detailed all processes in acquiring Customary Land in the Ashanti Region.
Functions of the Office
Surv. John Kwame Larri also took the personnel through the general overview of the Office, where he touched on the Vision, Mission, and Core Values (Integrity, Service, Transparency, Equity and Accountability). He provided a brief on the mandate of the Office such as the 1992 Constitution (Article 267(2) (6)(7)(8)) OASL Act 1994, (Act 481), Minerals and Mining (Ground Rent Regulations) among others.
He elaborated on the functions of the Office which include disbursement of the revenue collected, collection of all stool land revenue, accounting for the revenue to the beneficiaries, monitoring of the use of stool land revenue by MMDAs, Public education among others. Furthermore, he also enumerated on the sources of stool land revenue which include Ground rent (residential, commercial, industrial etc.), Farm rent (large scale commercial farm, small and medium plantations, settler farmers), poultry farmers, Mining concessions, Royalties (Minerals and Timber) and Dues- sand winning, charcoal burning.
Revenue Mobilization Mechanisms
Again, he enlightened the National Service Personnel on the stool land revenue mobilization mechanisms such as pre- revenue mobilization activities (stakeholder’s identification, reconnaissance data collection on land grants, public education/ sensitization). He pointed out that actual revenue mobilization mechanisms focus on determination of rental rates for various category of land uses per acre and details of lessees. He also elaborated on rent assessment, preparation of Rent Demand Notes, distribution and collection from tenants.
Surv. Larri also mentioned the post revenue collection activities such as lodgment of revenue collected, updating of the rent ledgers, preparation of revenue returns, monitoring of the use of stool land revenue and identified some of the challenges of the Office such as improper documentation of customary land grants, non- issuance of allocation notes by some stools, lack of power to prosecute rent defaulters. He also touched on the way forward such as continuous public education through various forums, stakeholder engagement and intensive data collation.