The Western Regional Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands has organised a workshop for some customary land owners in the Shama Ahanta enclave of the Western Region. The workshop was largely attended by heads, secretaries or representatives of stools and families who are allodial interest holders in the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Effia Kwesimintsim Municipal Assembly, Ahanta West Municipal Assembly, Mpohor District Assembly and Shama District Assembly. The purpose of the workshop was to interact with these customary land owners on modalities for the effective management and administration of their lands for maximum benefit to their present and future generations.

Dialogue is the way 

The Regional Stool Lands Officer, Mr Eric Baade, in his presentation at the workshop reminded the participants that, the main role of the Office in the administration of the lands is the mobilisation and disbursement of revenue, hence, there is always need to be holding frequent workshops as this to dialogue on ways to pursue recalcitrant rent defaulters as a means of improving revenue mobilisation.

Rent Defaulters

The participants expressed gratitude to the Office for the bold initiative to hold a workshop for them on the proper management and administration of their lands for intergenerational benefit since land is a heritage. They pledged to support the Office as much as possible in the mobilisation of revenue especially with regard to the idea of collaborating with the Office to pursue recalcitrant rent defaulters by instituting court action against them for the collection of the revenues.

Most of them reported that so many companies and individuals have acquired large and small tracts of land from them but fail to pay rent and honour some other crucial covenants such as seeking their permission before doing change of use or before the subsequent transfer of the leasehold interests that they the customary land owners have granted. Others also reported that some companies and individuals do shortchange them in the land transactions by inserting clauses in the indentures that they the landowners later find out to be unfavourable to their present and future generations.

They therefore pleaded with the Office to always come to their aid in the preparation of indentures or other agreements and the mobilisation of revenue on their lands. They also requested that the workshop be held often so that they can be more enlightened in the management and administration of their lands. Furthermore, they pleaded that the Office should advise and encourage other related agencies to be holding similar workshops for them to finetune land management and administration systems in the area, region and nation.

Customary Lands Secretariat

The Office pledged to continue supporting the customary land owners by any means possible on the management and administration of their lands. They were also informed of the need for them to establish customary land secretariats as provided for in the Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036) to promote the sustainable management and administration of their lands.

The workshop ended with deep satisfaction and appreciation on the part of the Office and the land owners.