The Kwara Government has compensated more than 2,000 traditional land owners and farmers whose land were acquired for public use in Lafiagi, Edu Local Government Area of the state.
The Director-General, Bureau of Lands, Alhaji Yusuf Abdulwahab, disclosed this in Ilorin on Monday while presenting cheques to beneficiaries in 19 communities in the area.
He named the beneficiary communities to include Bindofu-Essun, Puta, Efagi, Estu-salam, Npagulu, Dumagi, Cheche and Landan.
He said the land was acquired by the defunct Federal Military Government for the establishment of the Lafiagi Sugar Company.
He said the company later became moribund and was sold by the Bureau of Public Enterprises to BUA International Limited, a subsidiary of BUA Group.
Abdulwahab said BUA could not access the property due to agitation by traditional land owners who insisted on being compensated because the land was not originally paid for.
He said that the state government was playing a mediatory role in the matter, adding that the case between the communities and BUA had lingered for seven years.
He also said that the land acquired was 5,529 hectares, adding that compensation was being paid by BUA and BPE through the state government.
Abdulwahab said the state government thought it wise to mediate because of the company’s potential benefits to the state.
He said that the expected benefits would include employment opportunities for youths, enhanced social and economic activities in the area, and improved infrastructure facilities.
“It will bring about collaborative effort between the company and the state government.
“So, by and large, it will open up more economic prospects for the people of Kwara State,’’ he said.
Abdulwahab assured that all the concerns of the people would be addressed when the company begins operation.
He urged the communities and individuals to make judicious use of their payments and cooperate with the company in the interest of the development of the area and the state at large.
Some of the beneficiaries told the News Agency of Nigeria that they would abide by government’s reconciliation initiative.
They also lauded the government for its mediatory role and for ensuring their compensation.