By: Kebba AF Touray
The Minister of Information Ebrima Sillah, has informed Deputies at the National Assembly that the Ministry of Local Government and Lands has worked with the Association of Estate Agencies, to establish an organization to deal with the problems of land grabbing in the Kombos and other parts of the Greater Banjul Area.
Sillah said this on behalf of the Lands Minister on Tuesday April 2nd 2019, at the National Assembly, while responding to concerns raised by the deputies on land issues.
“The purpose of this is to regulate Estate Agencies and to ensure that they work within the framework in place at the Ministry of Regional Government and Lands. The Ministry of Lands has set up a Land Commission that is now operational and that any new emerging dispute will now be handled by this Commission”, he said.
‘‘There are cases before the Courts and as a responsible Government, we cannot interfere with the Courts and Court process. But we can work with the Attorney General’s Chambers to see how some of these cases can be expedited. One of the problems with these communities is that, they think it takes too long to have the verdict delivered, and most of our people are not much cognisant with Court processes, and think that it is a denial of justice,” Sillah said.
“This is something that needs a lot of sensitization and hopefully a big project that is coming up now, will most likely solve all these problems, because the Ministry of Regional Government has entered into negotiation to map out the entire country called the cadastral mapping. The pilot project will start in KMC and West Coast Region and is expected that it may accrue this to regional bodies for about US$90 million, because all the Landed properties in The Gambia will now be properly mapped and the issue of selling and reselling one Landed property to different people, will no longer arise, because everything will be captured in the system”.
Silah said his Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, have finally liberalized the GAMTEL GATEWAY; that it was an agreement for the funding of Africa Submarine Cable (ASC) Project by the World Bank, and the operators have contributed to fund the ASC, which makes it possible for one to have the fastest internet in the country with better quality reception on telephone.
“The World Bank ASC project cost close to 60 million dollars and the World Bank paid half of this with a condition that the GATEWAY be liberalized in 2030. This has been dragging on and on and when the new Government came to power, it was renegotiated and then a term was given for GAMTEL and GAMCEL to prepare themselves for this. What was happening was that GAMTEL was the single gate keeper and was centralized, but the situation now is that all the operators will have their own gateway. This is the norm now,” he said.