Minister of Lands and Country Planning has handed over to authorities of the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology a resurveyed copy of the college land.
The presentation ceremony took place on Thursday 18th June in a press conference at the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications in Freetown.
Dr Dennis Sandy presented the copy of the resurveyed 223 acres of land to the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (MMCE&T) polytechnic, Goderich campus to the principal and other administrative staff in the presence of the Ministry’s survey team headed by the Director of Surveys and Lands.
In his presentation, Dr Sandy recalled how the land was initially acquired for the college, saying it was the first Prime Minister himself, Sir Milton Margai who bought the land for the college. He, however, said that over the years, the land that stretched from main Peninsula road down to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean had been encroached on due to population growth.
According to the minister, their intervention came about when the principal of the college applied for resurvey of their portion. “It took my men two weeks to complete the exercise using the latest technology, including a drone,” he informed, saying a similar exercise has been done for Fourah Bay and Njala University College respectively.
The minister noted that it was not going to be business as usual as they were resurveying state lands not only in Freetown but nationwide. He said they aim to allocate state lands to deserving Sierra Leoneans and rigorously pursuing those blocking access roads.
“Now that we have resurveyed the MMCT land, my ministry will hold discussions with the encroachers at Goderich on the way out to ensure that everything was properly documented.
Receiving the document, MMCET principal, Dr Philip John Kanu thanked the minister as he acknowledged the support from the government. He said the day signified a big development for the college as government can now plan to expand the college which is impossible without land.
“I had engaged the Minister on the issue for the past three months and we are now satisfied that the land has been resurveyed,” he iterated, saying the College Council which is representing government would soon decide the best way out of the impasse.
He informed that government has secured funding from the Arab Bank to expand the college and as such, those illegally occupying the land would be asked to vacate, as the resurveyed plan would be officially handed over to the College Council.
“We are happy that we are nearing conclusion in this matter as the college has been in court for the past ten years and we have spent over Le 500 million.”
He also commended the Ministry for being very professional and using modern technology to identify the beacons. He said the land was gazetted with a payment plan and signatures which underscores the college’s bona fide ownership.
The principal said after everything, they plan to pass a perimeter fence around the property and hence, appealed to old students for support as once they reclaim all the land, they will embark on the construction of hotels for practical for the Hotel and Tourism Training Center and the hospitality industry. He also accused mobile phone companies that have installed masts on the land but refusing to pay to the college.