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Kogi Assembly Summons BUA Group Over 50,000 hectares Land ….. We Don’t Need The Land Again – Company

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The Kogi State House of Assembly, on Monday, summoned cement manufacturing firm, BUA Group, over a 50,000-hectare land it acquired 10 years ago but has yet to pay for it.
The lawmakers gave the summons at a public hearing of one of its ad-hoc committees held at a hotel in Lokoja after its complex was gutted by fire last Monday.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Alfa Momoh-Rabiu, who read the summons after listening to the Acting Surveyor-General of the state, Salihu Mustapha, expressed shock at the attitude of BUA Group.

“We are having problem with the Bua Group over 50,000 hectares of land it acquired in 2012 and even obtained a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) but has not paid a kobo for the land.

“We have written to the group several times but it has not responded to any of the letters.

“No compensation has been paid to the communities that own the expanse of land,” the Acting Surveyor-General said at the public hearing.

The ad-hoc committee’s chairman, Mr Umar Tenimu, said it was an offence for BUA Group to hold the land for more than 10 years without paying for it.

“The group should be summoned to come and explain why it refused to pay for the land and why it refused to compensate the community involved,” he said.

He added that if BUA Group refused to pay for the land and compensate the community, the government would revoke the C of O.
When contacted, a BUA Group Corporate Commutations official, Sunday Ogieva, said he could not comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, the cement manufacturing company has said it is no longer interested in taking the 50,000-hectare land in the state, saying the land cannot be used for its intended purposeB

UA while reacting to the summons by the state assembly via a statement made available to the press on Tuesday, said it has yet to take possession of the land and did not utilise it for factors which included lack of infrastructure and security challenges.

The BUA Group added that further feasibility studies on the land revealed that only about 30 per cent of the entire land mass was suitable for the company’s investment.

The company stated: “Since our invitation by the state in 2012 to invest through that land, there has been no visible effort by the state and successive governments till date, to address the issue of access (i.e. infrastructure, roads) that will enable us utilise the land for its intended purpose. Currently, the land is only accessible by water and without the required investments and other enabling infrastructure, the venture will not be feasible.

“There has been a massive deterioration of security in and around, the area for the past few years making it practically impossible to start any project there as an investor.

“We conducted further feasibility studies on the land and found out that only about 30% of the entire land mass is suitable for our investment with the rest (66%) consisting of rocky, hilly, and undulating areas which is not suitable for its intended purpose.

“Finally, due to the reasons enumerated above, and the fallout associated with it, we hereby wish to indicate through this letter, and inform you that we are no longer interested in continuing with our proposed investment.

“We wish to however state unequivocally that had we decided to proceed with the proposed project, BUA would have been happy to pay all dues and necessary compensation to the state and other stakeholders in line with our obligations. This is because as a responsible organisation, we believe in the principles of equity, sustainable business practices, and fairness.

“This has been the hallmark of our operations and engagements with communities and governments, everywhere we operate. Unfortunately, since the land cannot be used for its intended purpose and based on the foregoing, the Government of Kogi State may go ahead to revoke the land if it so wishes,” BUA Group said

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