Mr Speaker, I thank you forthe opportunity to also add my voice insupporting the Motion for a SecondReading of the Land Use and SpatialPlanning Bill, 2016.
Mr Speaker, on the question ofconsistency that I raised at the very onsetrelating to whether, Motion so movedshould be seconded, Mr Speaker, I referto Standing Order 78(g), and with yourpermission, I beg to read:
“Unless any Order otherwiseprovides, notice shall be given ofany motion which it is proposed tomake, except the following- (g) a Motion for the ThirdReading of a Bill;”
is being fashioned by the NationalDevelopment Planning Commission(NDPC), would it not be better to situatethis? This is because it is an essentialingredient in our national developmentagenda. Would it not be better to locate itwithin the ambit of the NDPC? That isanother matter that, perhaps, we cansubsequently apply our minds to. Mr Speaker, but it is regrettable thattoday, parcels of land that are earmarkedfor residential purposes and which wouldusually include some social infrastructurelike markets, police stations, schools,health facilities, educational facilitiesamong others -- Ultimately, the areas thatare zoned for these structures becometaken over by residential facilities at thesay-so of the person who, perhaps, is incontrol of that parcel of land. Mr Speaker, usually, there would bethat collaboration with the LandsCommission to rezone the place. And anarea that would accommodate thousandsof people would then not have a school, ahealth facility, a market, a police station.And if you ask, they would tell you thatthe place has been rezoned, so, whatparcel of land that is earmarked forputting up an educational facility wouldno longer exist? A market facility would no longer exist;a health facility would no longer exist; apost office would no longer exist; eventhe provision of sanitary facilities wouldno longer exist. What kind of residentialfacilities are we providing for ourselves? Mr Speaker, in many of these zones,including private estate developers, goto the parcel of lands they are developing,and with respect, Mr Speaker, we arecreating for ourselves 21 st Centurysquatter settlements. And I believe thatinto the second half of this Century, we
Local Government and DistrictCouncils are supposed to take theinitiative to plan for land users anddevelopers to follow. Mr Speaker, but theywait until people move into areas, do theirown planning and development, and theylater come to say that it is not inaccordance with the planning scheme thatthey developed. Mr Speaker, I would want to urge thevarious local authorities that, it is theirduty to make sure that any newdevelopment or settlement that comes up,they move into that area, plan it for ouruse before they come in. Most of thetimes, they wait until the people takeresidence, and they come and say, removeor demolish. These are not acts which weshould encourage. Mr Speaker, but if this law is in use, Ibelieve that it is going to guide all of us,and these unregulated activities would bea thing of the past. Mr Speaker, I have one particular issuewith those who are planning developmentalong the Accra-Tema Motorway. This issupposed to be an area with well planneddevelopment. But what do we see on theMotorway? The Tema DevelopmentCorporation (TDC), the Minister for LocalGovernment and Rural Development andthe district authorities just allow buildingsclose to the Motorway. I believe that weshould take a second look at this becauseit is so dangerous for road users,particularly vehicular users. Mr Speaker, I believe that areas thathave been set aside for community use asmy Hon Colleague said, for instance,playing fields and green belts, are nowplaces where people live. Cemeteries --particularly, if one goes to TemaCommunity 9, which has a cemetery, it hasbeen turned into a residential area. These
Mr Speaker, what it means is that, aMotion for the Third Reading of a Billshould not come under notice. That is theunderstanding, and yet, item number 10on the Order Paper for today is a Motion: “That the Ghana InternationalTrade Commission Bill, 2014, benow read the Third time.”
Mr Speaker, that is why I said that weshould be consistent. If we agree that itshould be seconded or notice should notbe given, then it should be so. We cannotpick and choose. Mr Speaker, having said that, theMotion that has been moved by the HonMinister relates to the structuring of landuse in the country. Of course, when weprovide effective structures, then we areplanning to achieve a nationaldevelopment goal. Mr Speaker, it is said, and it has becomeaxiomatic that, where there is no planning,it is an admission of planning to fail. So,it is important that even though it is a bitlate, we are now coming by way of tryingto synchronise and consolidate all thevarious pieces of legislation relating toland use and spatial planning. Mr Speaker, the point has been madeabout how the Town and CountryPlanning, an institution that is supposedto be at the centre of our planning, hasbecome very rudderless. At a point in time, it was under theMinistry of Lands and Forestry and thenthe Ministry of Local Government andRural Development. Then today, this Billis being shepherded by the Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation. Mr Speaker, others are even arguingthat given where we want to go in termsof our national development which now