The Oyo State government has paid compensations to about 77 families whose lands were acquired recently for mass production of cassava in Otu near Iseyin.
The State Commissioner for Lands, Housing, and Survey, Mr. Isaac Ajiboye Omodewu, presented the cheques to the beneficiaries at a brief ceremony in Otu, Itesiwaju Local Government Area of the state last week.
The commissioner, an indigene of Otu, lauded the governor for abiding by the law and demonstrating that the state believes in the peace and security of its citizens.
He said: â€œIt is the vision of the Oyo State governor, Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi, to bring investors into the state and that is why he took it upon himself to ensure peace and security in the state for the comfort of the investors.
â€œThe community has agreed to release the land to the government and their compensations are being paid accordingly todayâ€. He stated further that the compensation exercise became necessary in view of the dictates of the land use act which puts all lands in the state in charge of the state, but added that the onus is on the state government to compensate those whose lands are acquired for development.
The Director of Finance, Lexcel Group, Mr. Wale Majolagbe, who also is the representative of Allied Atlantic Distilleries, one of the investors, said: â€œSince Oke-Ogun supplies most of the cassava we use, we decided to move to the 4,000 hectares of land available here for expansion.
â€œActivities will start on the land by the first week in April and the ethanol production plant will be ready in the next two yearsâ€.
In his response to the gesture, the Chairman Itesiwaju Local Government Hon. AbdulFatai Niyi Adeagbo commended the state governor for promptly paying compensation to the owners of the acquired lands. He also counselled all beneficiaries to make judicious use of the fund. He assured the state government and the investor that the people in the community will work in close harmony with all stakeholders to guarantee the growth and development of the community and the state as well.
Earlier in his welcome address, the General Secretary, Otu land Committee and the Agoro of Otuland, Chief Moses Adeniji had expressed appreciation to Governor Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi for early payment of compensation noting that his committeeâ€™s efforts are not in vain. Chief Agoro also congratulated all the land owners as he thanked them for releasing their lands for investment that will bring further development to Otuland.
â€œWe are really happy, because we have craved this kind of project in times past, but today, it is at hand.
â€œAs a community of peace, we are ready to give security and moral supports for the development of the project. â€œWe are ready to assist them in any ramification, at any time they need our assistanceâ€, Chief Agoro said.
Beyond the compensation payment and the immediate employment of over 4000 farmers in cassava production, when the ethanol plant is completed, it will further reduce unemployment in the state and the backward integration is expected to be the catalyst for the economic growth and development of Otu and the Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State.