“Over Le 5 Billion Generated in 9 Months…” -Lands Minister Intimated Parliament

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Minister of Lands, Housing and Country Planning Dr. Denis Sandy

By Festus J. Lahai

On Wednesday 9th September 2020, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Country Planning Dr. Denis Sandy intimated Parliamentarians that his Ministry has generated over Five Billion Leones for Government between January and September, 2020, with the support of his Deputy Rex Bhonapha.

The result- oriented Minister was speaking in a Parliamentary Committee Room on whilst explaining his Ministry’s activities with regards to land issues in the Western Area.

According to the Speaker, Hon Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu, some residents within the municipality have complained that the Ministry is converting private lands into State lands. “This is the reason why the House Parliament summoned you (the Minister), your Deputy and top officials of the Ministry”, he said.

The Speaker welcomed the Ministry’s delegation to the House and told them that the Ministry was actually doing a wonderful job for the people but they needed clarifications on certain issues surrounding land in the Western Area.

Responding to allegations against him and his Ministry, Dr. Denis Sandy appreciated the House of Representatives for inviting him to explain his activities as Political Head and the Permanent Secretary Mr. Israel Jigba as Head of Administration who is also in charge of the day to day activities of the Ministry.

Dr. Sandy disclosed that his Ministry’s achievements within the last two years under the leadership of President Julius Maada Bio are incomparable. He told Parliament that he has provided State Lands to over 1,500 Sierra Leoneans in a transparent manner but further informed that he has reclaimed over 1,500 acres of Land from Land Grabbers.

The Minister also told MPs that he has granted 150 freehold leases to civil servants and the general public.
“The Ministry has put proper documentation process in place for all the State lands acquired for a very long time, prepared, implemented and monitored Five structural layouts and community planning and designed modern cities for Grafton, Number 2, Mongeba, Gloucester Saddle and Mile13,” he added.
He said his Ministry has generated over Five Billion Leones from leases, building permits and freeholds.

He further revealed that his Ministry has signed over 8,000 private survey cadastre plans, pointing out his Ministry’s determination to serve the nation diligently and fairly, despite the few baseless criticisms against him and his Ministry for doing the right thing by settling the many land conflicts he inherited.

Dr. Denis Sandy said the Ministry’s Dispute Resolution Mechanism headed by the Deputy Minister, Rex Bhonapha and other top officials, has settled over 150 disputes peacefully and 150 development control and enforcement issues within the Western Area and the Provinces.

“Our collective effort as a Ministry has yielded dividend towards the New Direction Agenda steered by President Julius Maada Bio”, he noted.

Dr. Sandy ended by stating that they have paid for all Airfield and Reservation Quarters in the provinces and that his administration has resurveyed learning institutions like Fourah Bay College (University of Sierra Leone), Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (Goderich Campus) and Njala University (Mokonde). Places that had been long shredded and shared among land grabbers, he added.

All the Parliamentarians showered praises on the Minister and his Ministry for such remarkable achievements, adding that this will help to build public trust and confidence in doing business with him instead of using the back door through Land grabbers to secure land.

The high-powered delegation from the Ministry included the Minister Dr. Denis Sandy, his Deputy Rex Bhonapha, Permanent Secretary Mr. Israel Jigba, Acting Director of Survey and Lands Mr. Tamba Dauda, Director of Country Planning, Kai Banya and Madam Mariama Tutu Vandi, the Chief Building Inspector.

Parliament was represented by the Speaker of the House, Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu, Honorable Hassan Kamara of the APC, Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella Leader of National Grand Coalition, Clerk of Parliament Hon. Umar Paran Tarawallie and many others.

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