Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has revealed that the process of registering lands will be made easier as government will digitalize the entire process in 2018.
Dr. Bawumia who was speaking at the 21st National Banking Conference, organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers, in Accra on Tuesday stressed that digitizing the land registry and the process of acquiring a land title will boost the mortgage market in Ghana.
He added that reforming the sector will be one of the major projects to attract government attention in the coming year as part of moves to promote transparency and efficiency in land administration in Ghana.
“One of the big things we’re going to do next year is shifting our focus to land registration,” Dr. Bawumia promised.
According to him, the aim is to make it easier for citizens to use their lands or property to acquire loans in the mortgage market without litigation.
“This is a real bane of the banking and financial services industry,” Dr. Bawumia pointed out, adding: “How do you develop a mortgage market if you can’t really ascertain a title to land; you can’t develop it.”
He stated: “If you look at the data, I was a bit amazed. You’ll see that in terms of mortgage to income ratio – Mortgage Payment Relative to Income – Ghana is the highest in the world. We top the world and the lowest is the US. And it doesn’t make sense for a poor country to be at the topside of that bracket.
“You can’t develop a mortgage market with those types of ratio. We have to turn our focus to the land registry and the process of land title and this is the next phase of digitalization that is about to happen, and we’re tackling that next year. We believe that by the end of next year all our land records should be digital.”
“And we are going to put in place the mechanism to make that happen. There is a programme that is going on and we’re going to enhance it,” the Vice-president opined.
“We believe that if we are able to do that the process of registering titles will be much simpler. We believe that if that happens it strengthens the banking sector indirectly because you can have better titles so you’re not embedded in court processes.
“If you look at the world over, using your property for a loan in the mortgage market is so critical to the development of any economy; whether small or big business. Mortgages are key ways of raising financing. So we are going to as government tackle these unwritten rules so to speak that will help strengthen the banking and financial industry.”