By: Easmond Moiguah
On Friday September 4th 2021 the prompt payment of lease rent for Zone C for the period 5th September 2021 to the 4th September 2022 was carried out at a ceremony witnessed by Pujehun District stakeholders including, the Pujehun District Officer, District Council, Local Unit Commander, ONS, Agricultural Officials, Military Commanding Officer of 14 Battalion, amongst others.
The land lease agreement of Zone C is one of the three lease agreements Government has with the people of Malen and is paid against the sub lease agreement Socfin has with the Government of Sierra Leone. This lease agreement between the lessee and the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone is for an area of 13,907.17 acres amounting to 417,269 000 Leones.
The General Manager of Socfin Sierra Leone, Mr. Philip Tonks handed over the money to the Chiefdom Authorities represented by the Chiefdom Speaker, Chief Robert Moiguah, for onward distribution to the land owning families. The General Manager said that the payment represents 50% of the lease rent and that 20% is paid to the Pujehun District Council whilst another 20% to the Chiefdom Administration and 10 % is paid to Ministry of Agriculture respectively as legislated. The General Manager further said the Company has and continues to lobby to Government to increase the share to land owner families to at least 80%.
Speaking at the ceremony the Chiefdom Speaker, Chief RS Moiguah once more praised Socfin Sierra Leone for the prompt payment of the lease rents. He also praised the Company for impressively honoring its CSR by building and furnishing schools, payments of teachers not on Government payroll, provisions of scholarships for five years running, the construction of the first Senior Secondary School and recently the newly built primary school in Banaleh village.
Responding, various visiting dignitaries including the Pujehun District Officer, Mr. Ishaka Murana Turay, District Agricultural Officer, Mr. Alex Fissan both commended Socfin for living up to the expectations of the communities and further encouraged the people of Malen Chiefdom to continue to embrace the company in a win win situation. The security personnel also applauded the work and commitment being done by the company, however warned the border Chiefdoms and others to stop the organized fruit theft that is now rampant in and around the Socfin plantation.
This year’s BECE results from Malen Junior Secondary School revealed that 202 students qualified for a scholarship who achieved a result of an aggregate of 25 or below. The students will receive their scholarship award at the end of September where a total of 101 million Leones will be paid to deserving students.
On the 3rd of September 2021, the Company handed over set of school furniture to Kpaguma School in spearheading and boosting President Bio and Government’s flagship of free and quality education for which Socfin is on record for doing it utmost to make the project a reality.