The newly-elected Mayor of the Freetown City Council Franklyn Bode Gibson says that the responsibility of planning the City lies with the Ministries and not council.
Responding to questions from Awoko about the planning of the City and what the Council intends doing to ensure that there are no make-shifts structure in the city, the Mayor Elect said that the responsibility “which should have been passed to the Council since 2008, is still in the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment and has not been devolved.”
Disclosing that “the Statutory Instrument of 2005, clearly states that building permit should have been handed over to the Council, yet they were instead passed over to the Ministry of Works and not the council, so it is the Ministries that are responsible for all what is happening. We have ‘Pan bodies’ in the city because they give permit, if they don’t give permit then let them demolish these structures” he said.
Explaining further, Mayor Franklyn Gibson said “since the introduction of Local Government, many responsibilities of the Central Government were directed to the Local Councils and these responsibilities empowered the council to perform its functions adequately.”
But “some of the powers include building and infrastructure, which is responsible for the proper planning of the city are still being held at the ministry , which makes the council handicapped, to use the full force of the law, to plan the Freetown Municipality .”
The Mayor-elect, also made mention of the rampant erection of bill boards, Sign posts and portals, which he said are not attractive and not of good modern standards, stating that “it is time to get rid of these and the Council will try to remove those unauthorized billboards. Council will soon introduce a new system in regulating the erection of such billboard,”he said.