Subah introduces technology to end land litigation

March 3, 2017
Source: Obed Attah Yeboah/thebftonline.com/Ghana
Subah introduces technology to end land litigation

Property Databank, a subsidiary of Subah Holding Company Ltd, has introduced a digital mapping and property addressing system which will make it impossible for people to claim ownership of land forcefully or illegally.

The Digital Mapping Property Addressing system is a platform which has a database of every property (lands and houses), streets and roads in the country which all have a unique reference number that does not change even if the name of the street or property changes.

According to Professor Felix N. Hammond, Director of the project, the platform will end the stress and disappointment people go through, especially businesses, before acquiring land for productive activities.

“Currently if you want to conduct a search, you will have to have a site plan and get a surveyor. But with this geo reference system you don’t need a site plan anymore. You only have to go to the internet or download the app, then search for the property and information about it. So just imagine how fantastic it will be for businesses.

The good and beautiful thing about it is that, it is based on the World Bank standard; it is also based on ISO standards; and the Ghana national framework for street naming and geo special platform. So with this platform and the information it provides, we can now stitch unto it ownership information of every property in the country,” Prof. Hammond told the media in Accra.

It is on record that land litigation tops all legal cases in the country. As far back as 2003, it was reported that 80,000 land cases were pending in Accra high courts alone.

Last year, the Greater Accra Regional Minister of the erstwhile Mahama administration, Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, said that chieftaincy disputes and land litigation were the biggest challenges hampering development efforts in the region.

“There have been instances where people who were not chiefs have paraded themselves as chiefs creating problems for all of us. Also, because land is very expensive in the region, people use all sorts of dubious means to acquire lands which had already been bought legally by others,” he said.

Prof. Hammond added that other state institutions such as the police, fire and ambulance services can tie their systems to the platform to facilitate processes and improve their operations.

“The system can be tied to anything. Now we have a system where the police will not have to find it difficult locating a house in case of emergency. The navigator can direct them. The same applies to fire service, and ambulances,” he said.

The project, when fully rolled out at the end of this month, can be accessed via the internet or on google play store.

Also, commenting on the system, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee, Owusu-Bio Benito, commended Subah Holdings for their introducing a project which, he said, could drive development of the country, and assured government would take interest in it.

“This is a very laudable project which will solve a lot of problems we are currently facing with our land administration system, our taxation system and everything. I know that with what I have seen I wouldn’t be surprised that government would be interested in this system,” he said.

He, however, expressed some concerns about the ownership of such a project, which has national security implications, to be left in the hands of the private sector, urging government to eventually control the system.

“I have concerns about the ownership procedure after the completion of the project. Because Subah is a private entity and looking at the nature of the project, it is likely that it will end up becoming a national asset. Because all other countries where this is being done, it turns out that government or the authorities involved end up having majority stakes in it,” Mr. Owusu-Bio added.