By Nefishetu Yakubu
Agripalm Nigeria Ltd., known for oil Palm production on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ikoha and Ugbogui communities in Ovia North West Local Government Area of Edo on Ease of Doing Business.
Speaking at the signing of the MoU in Benin, Mr Fatai Afolabi, the Managing Consultant of Foremost Development Services Ltd., said that the negotiation for the MoU took more than one year.
Afolabi, who facilitated the drafting and the signing of the
MoU, said that it would provide an enabling environment for the company to operate and enhance development in the two communities.
He appealed to the management of the company and host communities to adhere to the contents of the MoU.
“When Agripalm Ltd. took over the erstwhile A & Hatman company, it has to develop the company in line with their own operational policies, standard and protocols of the Round Table Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
“So, when the company took over it discovered some social limitations. One was the squabbles between the two host communities over who owns the land or who owns what part of the land.
“The communities initially handed over the land to A & Hatman, and Agripalm acquired the property from A & Hatman.
“The interest of Agripalm is to regularise their possessions and especially to be able to key into the communities so that they could operate seamlessly and carry out its corporate social responsibility,” he said.
On his part, Mr Celestine Ojeifo, the Community Liaison Manager of Agripalm, promised that the company would do its best to implement the terms of the MoU.
Ojeifo also promised that the company would continue to play its part in the provision of jobs and the development of the communities and the state.
Also, the spokesperson for the communities, Mr Monday Aighobahi, commended the management of the company, the leadership of the communities and the mediator who brokered peace that resulted in the signing of the MoU.
Aighobahi, however, appealed to the company not to renege in the promises made to the communities.
Also speaking, Mr Kelvin Uwaibi, the Managing Director, Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), promised that the state government would continue to do everything possible to attract investors.
Present at signing of the MoU were elders and leaders of the two communities, top management of the company and other stakeholders.(NAN)