By Our Reporter
Nasarawa State Government, the Azman Rice Farms Limited and Toto community, have jointly signed a tripartite agreement for 14,000 hectares of land for the cultivation of rice in Umuasha, in Toto Local Government Area.
The agreement signing ceremony took place on Friday, at the Government House, in Lafia.
Signing of the tripartite agreement brings to an end months of discussions and negotiations, as part of the commitment of Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule’s commitment to ensure that every part of the state boasts of a major industry for revenue generation, as well as providing employment for the people.
Commenting shortly after the signing of the agreement, Engineer Sule said his dream is to see people of the state have something to do, stressing that the signing of the agreement signalled the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship between the state government, Azman Farms and the Toto community.
“What excites me is to see people having something to do, see people who thought they have no dreams and now there dreams are being fulfilled and now they have something to do,” the Governor said.
Engineer Sule however noted that, as with everything new, challenges are to be expected.
“It is expected, that we are still going to have a few questions to answer, it is expected that certain things will come up, certain questions that we have not seen now.
“It is expected that what is more important is having the wisdom and the believe that whatever comes up, we will be able to resolve them,” he stated.
The Governor commended the Toto paramount ruler, the Ohimege Opanda, HRH Alhaji Usman Abdullahi, for ensuring the agreement took place, the Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe, for the role he continued to play throughout the negotiations, Chairman of Toto Local Government for his supportand the Toto community for accepting Azman Farms to be part of their community.
Earlier, state Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Barrister Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana, said with the signing of the agreement, all is set for the payment of compensation for members of the community who willingly gave their lands for the purpose of the project.
Barrister Kana explained that the lease is for 45 years, with the land to be handed over to the Azman Farms only after compensation was paid.
While noting that the signed agreement presented the willing intensions of all parties, with respect to the transactions, the Attorney-General added that Azman Farms has agreed to undertake Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) in the area by way of meeting the infrastructural challenges of the community.
Responding on behalf of the investors, Azman Group Chairman, Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, said they were in the state based on the invitation of Engineer Sule to join him towards developing Nasarawa State.
“We are here to give our maximum contribution towards provision of employment for the people of the state,” Alhaji Sarina said.
He further disclosed that the company is ready to commence work as soon as they are in possession of the land.
Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe signed the agreement on behalf of the state government, while Azman Group Chairman, Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, signed on behalf of Azman Farms. Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe, represented the Toto community at the ceremony.