The Lagos State Government says it has begun payment of compensations to the 16 traditional land owning families for the land it acquired for agricultural activities in Igbodu Area of Epe, Lagos.
The state Commissioner of Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, made this known at the presentation of cheques to the beneficiaries at the ministry’s Cooperative College Hall, Oko-Oba, Agege in Lagos, on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state government had acquired about 500 hectares of lands in 1985 to revatalise food production in Molajoye, Aleke and Igbodu areas of Epe.
Olusanya said the state government had paid about N40 million so far as compensations to the 16 families, whose lands were acquired for the state’s agricultural activities.
She said the cateria used for the compensation was based on the size of lands owned by each affected family, adding that there was a certain amount paid for each hectares of land.
“The programme is part of our strategies along with the five points agenda that was launched recently toward acquiring land for agricultural estate development to the areas.
“Negotiation with the families is not about the monetary aspect alone, because what we are doing by acquiring the land for agricultural purposes is one of the ways of bringing jobs to that area.
“It is also part of our strategies along with the five points agenda that was launched recently toward acquiring land for agricultural estate development to the areas.
“We will bring private investors to the place and obviously whatever businesses that will be set up in that location will require labour.
“Therefore, the programme initiated by the state government is not about the compensation alone, but it is about the development that will take place in those areas,” she said.
The commissioner commended the land owning families for joining forces with the state government to change the face of its agricultural development.
According to her, we appreciate the families that have allowed us to take ownership of their lands for the state development in line with our five points agenda to revitalise food production in the state.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Hakeem Adeniji, thanked the families for releasing their land to the state government for its agricultural development.
Adeniji explained that 16 families had been presented cheques which was the fulfilment of the promise of the state government to the land owners.
Speaking on behalf of the 16 families, Mr David Ogungbesan, the Head, Oshinuga Lagbodu Family, thanked the state government for keeping to its promise of compensating the land owners. (NAN)