By OLASUNKANMI AKONI
Lagos State Government has handed over Certificates of Occupancy, C of O to beneficiaries of 750 hectares of land, whose lands were affected by the Lekki Free Trade Zone LFTZ, project in Lekki Local Government area, LGA, in the state.
The presentation came after seven years of deliberation between the representatives of the state government and the communities.
Presenting the C of O at the zone to the representatives of the communities, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olushola Oworu said that the state government intention of giving new allocation of land to the communities was to enable them continue their farming as the land acquired from them be used to serve as their farm lands.
According to her: “This is a mile stone in the obligations of the Lagos State Government. We have paid compensations as far back as 2009. We have given 750 hectares of land to them and with this land that we have just allocated to the communities they can now have lands of their own to farm again.
“The problem we had before was that some of the land we acquired was the land they used for farming, fishing among others. Now that they have their own land, they can go and do whatever they want with it. So, they will not disturb the investors anymore and we are now ready to move at a much faster pace with the development of the free zone”.
Oworu added: “Definitely we are continuing with the project because it is a flagship project of the Lagos state government with a view of ensuring that investments are set up in Lagos State. As we keep saying, we want investors who can develop our country and our state and by so doing, as the industries spring up, we are going to create employment for our people.
“We are already working on temporary power plants so that investors can apart from the land have light. Everything is now in place. We are really ready to go now in a bang.”
Speaking on behalf of the communities and the traditional leaders in the affected communities, the Oloja of Epe, Oba Kamoru Ishola expressed appreciation to Lagos State government for the kind gesture, even as he pledged the support and loyalty of the people of the communities to the state government and prospective investors in the zone.
“I have to thank Governor Fashola and the commissioner for a job well done. The investors are our friends we have to cooperate with them. There is no way you can hold a cane and say you want to give banana to a monkey.”