In a startling revelation at the Speaker’s Breakfast Forum in Accra, Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, disclosed that his residence in Accra was on the brink of being sold to a private developer while still residing there.
This revelation surfaced when the said developer attempted to register the land at the Lands Commission.
The revelation adds a layer of complexity to the already intense political climate in Ghana, raising questions about the security and propriety of public officials’ residences.
Bagbin stated, shedding light on the precarious situation, indicated that but for the intervention of the Lands Commission matters could have been worse.
“Many of you don’t know that even the residence of the Speaker was almost sold to the private sector. It was given out. It was when they went to register that the Lands Commission identified that that was the residence of the Speaker. Luckily, I was inside, so it was saved.”Right Honorable Alban Bagbin
Member of Parliament for South Dayi Constituency, Rockson Dafeamekpor, called the situation “unbelievable”.
“At today’s speaker’s breakfast forum, the speaker began to reveal that, the speaker’s residence at cantonments in Accra, was sold to a private developer whilst he was in that residence. The Lands Commission discovered this only when the developer went to register it. Unbelievable!”Honorable Rockson Dafeamekpor
Also, Bagbin, during the same gathering, addressed the looming approval of the 2024 budget statement presented by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.
The Speaker emphasized the need for meticulous scrutiny before approval, asserting that due diligence on the document was imperative.
“We must strive to improve the welfare of the people we serve. Even though we see this as business as usual for Parliament, this time around, it’s more critical than before. This budget is critical, and I want us to take time because leadership has discussed it with me, and we have enough time for you to deliberate on the budget.”Right Honorable Alban Bagbin
Bagbin urged parliamentarians to fully participate given the gravity of the budgetary decisions.
Encroachment Challenges Threaten Ghana’s Development
Ghana has battled with encroachment on state lands, jeopardizing public resources and urban planning. The surge in urbanization, fueled by population influx, leads to informal settlements and unauthorized use of state-owned lands, disrupting planned development. Political influence exacerbates the issue, with individuals exploiting connections to obtain state lands, undermining equitable resource distribution and the rule of law.
This nation’s developmental trajectory is rooted in historical, cultural, and legal complexities, the dual land tenure system, combining customary and statutory ownership, fuels conflicts over boundaries and ownership. Urbanization and population growth intensify the competition for land, triggering disputes from boundary disagreements to contested ownership.
Chieftaincy disputes and community dynamics further contribute to the prevalence of land conflicts. The consequences resonate across sectors, disrupting agriculture and impeding infrastructure projects essential for national development. The legal framework involves customary and statutory laws, leading to jurisdictional challenges in the resolution process.
The repercussions extend beyond legal concerns, impacting public infrastructure projects like roads and utilities, causing disruptions and delays. Recognizing the severity of the problem, the government has initiated measures, including increased surveillance, legal actions, and public awareness campaigns. Calls for strengthened land management, improved urban planning, and inter-agency collaboration emphasize the need for a comprehensive response.
The state institutions in charge like the Lands Commission will have to be proactive in collaborative effort involving government agencies, communities, and civil society.
Commendably, in this instance, the Lands Commission rose to the occasion and saved the bell.