Prior to the unfounded and misguided newspapers report accusing Socfin Agricultural Company of groundless lease agreement in Sahn-Malen Chiefdom, Pujehun District, a thorough investigations mounted by this medium proved contrary and therefore wants to set the record straight. From what was learnt, it has been established beyond all reasonable doubts that from the inception when the Agricultural Company showed interest to invest in Sierra Leone it went through all the legal channels in which the Government of Sierra Leone and the local authorities in Pujehun District, to be specific Sahn Malen, where the company is operating, were all engaged.
As a matter of fact the company went through all the lease agreements with the Government and local authorities on the ground before it commenced operations. For some misguided folks to just wake up overnight claiming that the first two lease agreements signed with Government and the local authorities are illegal is far from the truth and is a deliberate as well as a calculated ploy to bring the name of a reputable company to disrepute.
One thing that should be noted is that Socfin is an international company not only operating in Sierra Leone but other countries with flying colors.
A company of such a reputable standing which is not a flight by night business entity cannot mortgage its hard won reputation by flouting established business laws of this country.
For the newspaper report to state that Socfin failed to follow the due process relating to lease agreements it signed is totally in accurate and a figment of the writer’s imagination.
One thing that has been well established is that Socfin Agricultural Company is highly complementing the Government’s development interventions by positively and consistently rolling out its Corporate Social Responsibility.
This is a company that has provided educational supports to schools, by offering scholarships to deserving pupils in Pujehun. Besides, the company has contributed to strengthening the health system in that part of the country, supported various `social activities, provided job opportunities among a host of other developments it has brought to the district and the country as a whole.
At a time like this when the Government is making frantic moves to attract foreign investors to help revamp our economy if certain people are falsely and wrongly accusing foreign investors then obviously such will not send the right signals to others who are contemplating to invest in the country.
Socfin is a company that is here for real business. The company falls under the bracket of one of the largest tax payers to the National Revenue Authority (NRA) and the taxes it timely pays are contributing greatly towards Government’s revenue mobilization to fund development projects or programmes.
Indeed Socfin cannot be distracted by cheap and unfounded allegations.
One of its biggest Shareholders; Mr. Gerben Haringsma is real down to earth human who can mingled with any individuals in Sahn-Malen.
This was a man that has to stand tall for the people of Sahn-Malen for them to benefits from the company largess, the negative and fictitious information coming from some section of the media is not strange to the Chief Executive Officer of Socfin.
“Since our inception to Sahn-Malen we’ve being targeted by members of MALOA, Green Scenery and other international organizations unduly,” he said.
“We will not be distracted, we are working in conformity of the laws of Sierra Leone, residents of Sahn-Malen Chiefdom are very much appreciative for the work we are doing and also our countless Corporate Social Responsibility we are doing for them; so as a company we are happy what we are doing and nothing will distracts us.
The general public should notes that the Agricultural Company has being very instrumental in helping Sahn-Malen residents with the necessary goodies such as;
RICE PRODUCTION one of the most important initiatives of the CSR program is developing community programs to ensure food security.
This is done by mechanized farming practices by pouching and harrowing wetlands (Boilands) for rice and the development of in land valley swamps (IVS), Provision of tools, seeds and expertise is made to communities to assist.
SOCFIN supports the establishment of Community Fish Ponds by the provision of tools and food for work for building of the ponds and additionally Socfin purchases fingerlings, food provides technical advice as Socfin employs an expert on aquaculture.
SOCFIN started micro credit with a fund of Le.25 Million and addition, local initiatives are promoted such as the purchase of Socfin’s uniforms to a tailor of Sahn Malen amounting to over Le.175 Million to this one local supplier alone.
SOCFIN provides support to Pujehun District Council, the Police, District Officer and the Local Chiefdom Administration in vehicle repairs and provision of fuel, a generator was donated to the Police Station in Pujehun and recently the supply and repair of the electrical cables has been done and also electrical repairs to the District Council office and hospital has also been done and they are getting 24 power supply.
Socfin is engaged in projects of Forest Protection, Reforestation and Afforestation within the concession area, the plantation comprises 91 Ha of Protected Forest and 41 Ha has been reforested in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security.
One of the managers at Socfin Madam Celine Schntz revealed that her company is purely concern about the environmental issues and also the welfare being of the people in the communities.
Principal of Malen Junior Secondary School Mohamed J.D. Makeya said Socfin has done a lot for his school, he cited the huge jobs Socfin has created for thousands of Sierra Leonean, especially the indigenes of Sahn Maleh Chiefdom and adding that the company had given the communities a facelift, people can boast of good roads network, medical facility, 24/7 electrical power supply, pure borne water, standard toilet facility, he maintained that Socfin has constructing eight setter toilet and also refurbished water well for the and paid scholarships for pupils in my school.
According to the Country Representative Mr. Gerben Haringsma said the entire investment of Socfin is US$110 Million Project and he disclosed that more investment are on the way coming to Sierra Leone.