Chiefs, Clans, and family heads are now required to set up Customary Land Secretariats before they can lease or sell a piece of land, This is according to Section 12 of the new Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036).

A Principal Administration Land Officer at Ghana’s Lands Commission, Timothy Anyidoho explained that the reform is to prevent the same piece of land being sold to different persons.

“It says that every ‘customary land holder; family, stool, clan will have to establish what is called a Customary Land Secretariat. In that, you will have to record lands that you give out to people’,” Mr Anyidoho told host Winston on Joy fm.

Mr Anyidoho said the Customary Land Secretariat will serve as a source of record for particularly, successors, to know which lands have been sold in order not to resell them.

“In the past, there were excuses for selling a land multiple times. You will hear the chief say ‘I didn’t know my predecessor sold it that is why I sold it.’ Those excuses are being resolved by the Customary Land Secretariat prescribed in new Land Act.“

Mr Anyidoho further added that the law will hold customary land owners accountable for the sale of lands they are entrusted with.

He said defaulters of the new law could be jailed between 5 to 15 years.

Due to the numerous challenges facing the lands adjudication and administration sector in the country, a new Act was passed in 2020 to address these difficulties.