The Management of Harmony Holdings Limited has paid the sum of N1.5 million compensation to landowners as part payment for N3.7 million land acquired by the Kwara State government for the Cashew Processing Factory located at Ogbondoroko in Asa Local Government Area of the state.
The Director-General, Kwara State Bureau of Land, Alhaji Ibrahim Salam who handed over the part payment to representatives of the people, commended Harmony Holdings Limited for making good its promise to pay the land owners.
“The 25 hectares of land was acquired by the State Government for the Nigeria grains board but was transferred to Ministry of Agric, then Ministry of Commerce before it finally ended in the hands of Harmony Holdings Limited, unfortunately, when the land was acquired compensation was not paid.”
“The total area of the land was not fenced. It was when Harmony Holdings wanted to fence the land that land owners protested and stopped work on the projects.
“The compensation has previously been assessed, but it was not paid to the owners .The total compensation was N3.7million and Harmony Holdings Limited has paid N1.5million.The Harmony Holdings will pay the remaining balance in few weeks time,”he stated.
We had to broker a meeting between the customary land owners and Harmony Holdings limited which they agreed to pay compensation on the land’,the DG explained
Salman advised representatives of the land owners to ensure that all beneficiaries get their share of the money and prayed for a harmonious relationship between Harmony Holdings and the host community.
Spokesman of the beneficiaries, Alhaji Usman Olosun, commended Harmony Holdings Limited for paying them the compensation and implored the government to give them another land to build mosque and Islamic school that were taken.
It would be recalled that Harmony Holdings Limited recently completed the massive renovation and expansion of the Kwara Cashew Processing Factory at Ogbondoroko.
A 7 -year lease agreement was signed with a private operator Olam Nigeria Limited to process cashew nuts and other ancillary products.
The factory, which is one of the few still in operation in Nigeria, has directly employed about 600 workers.
The representatives of HHL during the event, were the Head of Treasury, Mr. Oseni Alada and the Head of Corporate Affairs, Kayode Aremu.