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Asantehene chastises chiefs for amassing wealth from land sales

Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has taken a swipe at chiefs in his kingdom whose preoccupation is to sell stool lands.

He is particularly worried such transactions are conducted at the expense of job creation and employment for the people.

Otumfuo says the tendency for chiefs to sell off land entrusted to them at exorbitant prices has scared businesses from setting up in the Ashanti Region.

He says, as a result, many people, especially; the youth have been denied opportunity to earn a decent living.

Asantehene said he gets as low as GH¢150 or GH¢200 from chiefs as his share of the lands sold but the chiefs themselves receive huge sums of money plots of land sold.

He said all land proceeds that have come to him have been recorded in a book at the Asantehene's Land Secretariat.

He threatened to expose chiefs who constantly bring him a small share of monies accrued from the sale of lands by publishing the records at the land secretariat. 

This threat drew laughter from the audience at his palace, which also included Korle Klottey Parliamentary aspirant, Zenator Rawlings.

Otumfuo’s sentiments were in reaction to an appeal by the leadership of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) to him for land to construct an industrial park.

The leadership of AGI was at the Manhyia Palace on the occasion of Awukudae Festival, Wednesday.

According to Otumfuo, the practice by the chiefs over the years has cost the region big names like Kinapharma who have not had land to establish their business.

He is unhappy the chiefs take huge amounts of money over land only to pay peanuts to his land secretariat.

The king has advised the chiefs to arrange with the investors on the use their stool lands as equity. He said when chiefs use their land as equity, their communities can become partners in business establishments.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II promised to facilitate the release of land to AGI to promote industrialization in Kumasi.

Meanwhile, AGI is happy about Asantehene’s intervention. AGI Vice President, Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi called the intervention a remarkable one.

“It’s remarkable news that we’ve heard and we are going to follow it up. Once we get this industrial park, of course, we would be able to bring businesses and industries to Ashanti Region which will create employment for the youth that are being born”, he said.

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