By Tabora Bojang
New lands minister has said 98 percent of real estate developers in the country are Gambians, who have a right to ‘own, buy and sell’ land.
Sheriff Abba Sanyang made these remarks while replying to a question on the Standard Bantaba regarding Vice President Badara Joof’s advice for him to place a 2-year moratorium on foreign estate development until enough land is given to Gambians.
Badara warned at a contentious cabinet retreat last week that: “If we commercialize these lands, where would our families and the future generations live? Especially when you give it to the foreign private estate developers who make millions, repatriate the money and that is capital flight. Then we are denuded of land for our families. No, that is wrong.”
But when asked about his ministry’s stance on such a request as it was welcomed by many Gambians, the lands minister replied: “No you may not have followed my trend of issues on the tour, during which we were highlighting everywhere to the public of our ministry’s resolve to make sure we solve the land issues in the country, once and for all. The estate issues that they are talking about, during the whole tour we have said that we are not against any real estate. The vice president mentioned that we ban foreign real estate. I’m not sure you have that. Do we have that in this country? We’re looking out for those possibilities, and we will definitely take those actions he recommended, but 98 percent or 99 percent of these estates are all Gambians. They have a right to own land, they have a right to buy land and they have a right to sell land. And communities have a right to own and sell their lands, except for lands that are state owned.”
Read full exclusive interview on Bantaba.