Former President Olusegun Obasanjo have withdrawn his investment from the Raav land development site project in Naka, Gwer-West Local Government Area of Benue State.
The reason for this withdrawal of investment from Benue State may not be far-fetched. It is believed that the recent fire attack on the mango Plantation belonging to the former President may have influenced this decision.
According to a source from the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, this decision by the former President to withdraw his investment from the State was based on the internal squabbles and hindsight of stakeholders within the Gwer Local Government Area. The withdrawal will see the termination of a potential multi-million naira project in Raav which would have served as a revenue source worth hundreds of millions for the state as well as the termination of potential job opportunities for the men and women of the State.
The source also explained that the situation at the development site in Howe may likely affect the earlier intentions of the former President to establish a fruit juice factory in the area and wished that, the former President would have a rethink, so that he does not ditch his plans to set-up the fruit juice factory in the area.
As regards the report that the land was not paid for, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Kester Ikyenge insisted however, that when the agreement between Obasanjo farms and the host community was struck, all interest groups in the host community were given a token and that the land belongs to the State.
The Director of Agriculture, Thomas Unongo who disclosed this on behalf of the Commissioner on Wednesday, noted that some form of stipend was made available to the locals during the signing of the agreement between Obasanjo farms and the host community.
He also went further to explain that the land was leased to Obasanjo farms for a period of 25 years and part of the agreement was that that majority of the workers on the farm would be drafted from the host community, which he confirmed that about 95 percent of the workforce are from the community.