BY DAUD OLATUNJI
ABEOKUTA—The Ogun State Government has denied that it ceded its 500 hectares of land in Egua, Yewa North Local Government Area to the Lagos State Government, saying that, the land was allocated for agricultural purpose in order to fast-track development in the area..
Speaking at a meeting with stakeholders from the area held yesterday in Abeokuta, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun explained that the decision was part of the current administration’s strategy to ensure that development reaches every part of the state.
According to the new Commissioner, the arrangement is a pilot scheme which the state government planned to replicate in all the three senatorial districts of the state.
““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.
“The terms of agreement are unambiguous. Lagos State government has agreed that rent would be paid to the Ogun State Government and that indigenes would be employed in the programme.
“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 scheme.”
Sofekun who lamented the inability of the past administrations to take advantage of its proximity to Lagos, assured that “the current administration will take that advantage to the fullest”.