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MPs urge new lands minister to review land policy

February 3, 2021

By Jariatu S. Jusu

Dr. Turad Senesie before the panel

Members of the Appointment and the Public Service Committee have urged the proposed Minister of Lands, Housing and Country Planning, Dr. Turad Senesie, to review the land tenure system in the country.

Leader of the Coalition for Change (C4C), Hon. Emmerson Lamina, said the new minister should make way to transform the protectorate land laws to that of provinces.

He stated that the pattern in which lands are acquired in other communities or districts is quite different from what obtains in Kono district.

He observed that land is now very precious even more than diamond as most people in foreign countries want to build houses now than going in for mining in the district.

Opposition Whip, Hon. Hassan A. Sesay, said Dr. Turad should note that he is going to work with the staff that have served more than 6 ministers but the same problem still remains a challenge, stating that even though the political heads have changed, the problems still persist to exist at the ministry of lands.

Concerning the micro-city planning, he said it high time the new minister thought out of the box to address the issue.

He stated that the issue of land has been a thorny one across the country and that the overall land policy is based on colonial past, which needs to be overhaul.

He questioned as to what plan does the minister had to address the menace not only in the municipality but across the country as a whole.

He noted that there are setbacks in the way lands are allocated in the provinces.

Leader of the opposition, Hon. Chernor R. M Bah expressed the need for a collective effort to put in place measures that have been highlighted by the proposed minister of lands to tackle the numerous challenges across the country.

He urged the proposed minister to create land banks for the good of all and not only for those in the Western Area, as the land tenure system as stated in CAP 122, is different from the one in Waterloo.

“We need land banks for all types of investments. There will be lot of pressure on you for state lands but I know you to be a disciplined man and am sure you will take it to the ministry. This parliament will support you like we did promise your predecessor before he disappointed us,” he said.

He urged the need for a collaborative work among other Ministries,Departments and Agencies,to avoid mishaps, adding that the proposed minister should take his time to go through all documents that would be given to him once he assume office.

In his response, Dr. Turad Senesie said he is going to the ministry with an open mind in ensuring that they identify the long standing problem, adding that he will also collaborate with those staff that he will be working with.

Dr. Turad said there are two types of land tenure systems across the country- the tertiary which deals directly with Western Urban and the customary system in the provinces.

He said there are other laws that support those systems but expressed need to ensure that the laws are utilised to ensure equitable distribution of land to avoid misunderstandings.

He stated that there is also a developed national land policy which was instituted in 2015, and that an implementation plan was also established but since then nothing has been done for it implementation.

He assured that the implementation process will be carried out when he assume office and that he would find ways for it to be reviewed, if necessary.

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