Allan: NCDC not ready


LANDS and Physical Planning Minister Benny Allan has told National Capital District (NCD) to get its house in order before consideration can be made to its request for Land Board powers.
He was responding to a call from NCD Governor Powes Parkop for the city government to be granted land powers.
Allan said that as circumstances were now, there was no justification for the NCD Commission to have its own board, especially when his department’s assessment was those functions and processes in handling land matters at NCDC were chaotic and disorderly.
“The Department of Lands and Physical Planning, which is the sole custodian of all State land in the country, is of view that it would not be appropriate and in the best interest of the Government to grant Land Board powers to NCDC,” Allan said.
“They have written requesting us to approve and grant their own Land Board but while like any other province, it would be good for them to have their own Land Board, we don’t believe NCDC is ready and organised at the present time to take on such an important function.
“There are many important issues and challenges that City Hall needs to address before we even consider its request for its own Land Board. For instance, we are not satisfied that due process and procedures are being complied with and adhered to by NCD.
“For this and other reasons, we do not feel it is correct for us to grant them Land Board authority. It would not be in order as there will be a lot of problems. We’d rather the status quo remained, let them sort out their physical planning board issues and we deal with Land Board matters.
“This is delegated function and by the way things are going and being done, NCDC won’t have its own board. The Government should get its house in order, the NCDC is not ready to get its own Land Board because a lot of things being done.
“The Department of Lands and Physical Planning is the sole custodian for that matter, has that authority.
“We see adhoc plans being used for our towns and cities when we require them to work on long-term plans for our towns and cities. Some may have those plans in place already, but are not working in consultation with the Department of Lands and Physical Planning.”
Allan took exception to Parkop branding the Department of Lands and Physical Planning and its officers as corrupt, saying matters would be worse if City Hall were to have its own board.
“A lot of things done over there have been transparent,” he said of NCDC’s land functions.”

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