In a loud and clear message yesterday, at his Ministry the new Minister of Lands and Country Planning Dr. Denis Sandy squarely blamed problems with regard to illicit land distribution on some government Ministers, MP’S , Councilors and Community Headmen whom he said meddle in land management thereby causing odd situations.
Dr. Sandy was telling journalists about his transformation plans and actions since he took up appointment on 20th March this year, with the aim of reposing confidence in every Sierra Leonean with regard lands management in the country. Most of the problems relating to land issue are ‘perennial problems’ he said but they were now working on plans to overhaul the whole land management system in that Ministry, he added.
The Minister said “I have sent a loud and clear message to everyone engaged in dubious land deal through the media including MP’S, Councilors, Ministers and Headmen, because there is no way the Ministry responsible will sit by and allow the indiscriminate selling of state lands without adherence to right procedures “
On this note he said “I am awaiting invitation from Parliament to tell them that MP’S should not meddle in land issues as the Ministry tasked with land management and country planning must be given chance to execute their functions.”
On the issue of encroachment, the Minister pointed out that the President of Sierra Leone was never pleased with the level of encroachment on lands belonging to educational institutions; lands owned by FBC, Milton Margai Teachers College, COMAHS and others educational institutions, but however, maintained that they were going to do all they could to reclaim those encroached lands and return them.
The Minister even went on to tender a cadastral map showing an expanse of land owned by Milton Margai College of Education that extended from Goderich campus to the Atlantic ocean which were now encroached upon by certain people including NASSIT, stating that they were going to look into the legibility of those encroached lands and anyone caught wanton might likely forfeit the land.
He said “in the discharge of our duty we will leave no stone unturned; I don’t even mind sack as long as I am serving my conscience and the country which belongs to all of us.”
“Land issues have involved many players, with people who have no business in dealing in lands without due regard to the ministry of lands that is mandated by the national constitution to manage state lands” he said.
He stated that “it is unbelievable to see people selling and holding on to huge acreage of state lands irrespective of all state ordinances and Act.”
By Solomon Rogers