ou go to the Lands Commission to make up a payment on behalf of an organization. You get there at 8.30am knowing that the Lands Commission opens its doors to the public at 8.00am.
I got to the Rent Management Unit of the Commission this morning, only to find the doors locked. Mind you most of the doors I passed by as I walked along the corridors were all locked. Surprised and yet calm,
I waited a while until I saw a staff doing his own thing a few metres away. I walked to him and asked what time the Commission officially opened for business. Without a blink, he answered, ‘8.00am’. He then looked at his watch and then remarked, ‘I’m sure someone will arrive soon’. Unconvinced, I strolled up to the entrance to to Public and Vested Lands Management Division checkpoint where I met a very courteous aged officer. He apologised for the lateness of his colleagues and pleaded with me to exercise a little patience.
By now, the time was 8.52am. While standing there with him, a young lady arrived and this officer beckoned to me that she belonged to the Rent Management Unit. I followed her to the office where after sorting out the preliminary early morning stuff, she attended to me and gave me a slip to take to another office (some 200m away) for it to be verified before proceeding to make payment.
Here was a good corporate citizen walking in to make up a Ground Rent payment of GHC52,920.00 and yet being tossed around as though I had entered the compound to beg for my daily bread. I was soon to be hit with a shocker. The only bank (Universal Merchant Bank) that receives all payment on behalf of the Lands Commission had had its server down for two or so days. The effect of it was that they had not been receiving any payments for all of this period. Now, until the system had been brought back on stream, this was going to be the status-quo.
At this point, I was visibly angry and asked the lady a question, ‘Do you seriously want me to return these bank drafts with the hope that I’d return anytime soon?’ Her answer was simply, ‘ Sorry, but we have no other option!’ On second thoughts, she took my number and promised to notify me when they received notification that the server had been restored. I got that call at about 11.00am.
So my dear friend, these Lands Commission staff will be paid irrespective of how much revenue they make for the State so they really don’t care about anything. Governments since the days of President John Kufuor till that of President John Mahama spent millions of United States to reform the land administration of Ghana using LAP 1 through to LAP 3. By this, their offices have been refurbished with the addition of new facilities, installation of various land administration software and all. Yet this is our lot as Ghanaians who seek to help output developmental agenda.
Honestly, I weep for our country anytime I’m confronted with such situations. Sadly, I wasn’t alone in this. Several other Ghanaians go through these encounters with each passing day.
I keep asking myself: Ghana, whither thou goest?
My dear friend,