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Bono Minister Urges State agencies to safeguard public lands

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All state institutions in the Bono region have been ordered by the Bono Regional Minister Mad. Justina Owusu Banahene to exercise caution and put procedures in place to document all state lands with the Land Commission in order to prevent future encroachments and needless legal disputes.

Mad. Justina Owusu Banahene made this statement after receiving a fact-finding report from a five-person independent committee appointed by the regional minister about the ownership of the disputed Ridge Experimental cluster of schools in Sunyani.

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Mad. Justina Owusu Banahene stated that although the beneficiary institutions should take steps to put a halt to such acts, the amount of encroachment, disagreements, and litigation on public properties donated by Nananom to serve public interests is increasing.

Mad. Justina Owusu Banahene stated that the ever-increasing lack of discipline in the domestic land market is an eyesore and that it is crucial for the duty bearers and beneficiary organisations to acquire ownership through correct documentations.

The Ridge Experimental cluster of school lands were allegedly being encroached upon by private developers, according to a petition that was delivered to the Bono Minister on March 10, 2022 by former students, the school administration, and the PTA.

In his remarks to the committee, the minister expressed his gratitude for their hard work and pledged to put the report’s recommendations into practise.

Upon receiving the petition, she established a 5-member Committee under the direction of the Bono Regional Principal Attorney of the Sunyani Office of the Attorney-General and Mr. Alexander Bae Yeboah, Deputy Coordinating Director of the Bono Regional Coordinating Council.

The other members are Professor Eric Ofosu Antwi, a member of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), the Regional Director of Ghana Education Services, the Regional Commander of the National Investigative Bureau, and the Municipal Planning Officer of the Sunyani West Municipal Assembly.

The committee’s job included determining, among other things, whether:

1. Had the regional lands commission secretariat rezoned any property parcels or released them to private developers? If so, was this action reasonable and required in light of the Sunyani Municipality’s land use and spatial planning?

2. Determine how much the school land has been impacted by the re-zoning.

iii. The conversion of one use to another for commercial purposes or other purposes would be detrimental to educational advancement and long-term growth of the institutions.

1. Any pertinent information that could help prevent such events in the future.

2. Provide pertinent advice to prevent the establishment of such disputes on public lands.

Mad. Justina Owusu Banahene stated that she desired independent work, which is why the committee was formed. She also added that none of the members are from Sunyani, and she gave them the assignment to look into the situation in order to allay the petitioners’ worries.

According to Mr. Alexander Bae Yeboah, the committee’s secretary, the school properties have not undergone any re-zoning by the properties Commission.

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