Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta
The Ogun state government has denied speculations in some quarters that it has ceded its land in Egua, Yewa north local government area to the neighbouring Lagos state.
Instead, the government clarified that it only allocated part of the land already meant for agriculture to Lagos to fast track development in the area.
The air was cleared on the issue Monday afternoon in Abeokuta, the state capital when the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun had a meeting with stakeholders from the area.
She explained that the decision was part of the current administration’s strategy to ensure that development reaches every nook and cranny of the state, added that it is a pilot scheme which it plans to replicate in all the three senatorial districts of the state.
Mrs. Sokefun disclosed that the land in question had long been acquired for agricultural purposes by past administrations in the state, saying the current government only gave the Lagos state government a fraction of the total it requested for and that like in
every lease agreement, there is a period for which Lagos state would operate on it.
“The land had long been acquired for agricultural purpose by past administrations in the State. There was a strategic reasoning behind our allocating part of it to Lagos State for rice planting. We only gave them one-tenth of what they requested for”, Sokefun disclosed.
On the derivable economic benefit, the Commissioner assured that the terms of agreement were unambiguous as the parties had agreed that rent would be paid to Ogun state government and that indigenes would be employed in the programme.
According to her, “part of the agreements we entered into was that they will not use the land for any other purpose other than cultivation of rice and that indigenes of the community must be considered first for engagement on the farmland, this is a pilot
Mrs. Sofekun who lamented the inability of past administrations to take advantage of its proximity to Lagos assured that “the current administration will take that advantage to the fullest”.
Meanwhile, indications have emerged that the prolonged hostilities between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Yewa North Local Government Area of the State will soon become a thing of the past as both parties at a meeting today in Abeokuta agreed to sign a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) to sheathe their swords.