His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has commissioned the Phase 2 of the Mill Extension of SOCFIN Agricultural Company in Sahn-Malen Chiefdom, Pujehun District. The extension of the Mill takes the processing capacity from 30 tons per hour of Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) to 60 tons per hour. The total cost of the Mill Extension is estimated at USD $14.1 million. Over 5,000 people obtain their livelihoods from SOCFIN directly.
According to the President, the last time he visited Malen Chiefdom was during the period of Campaign and he was welcomed in your large numbers to support me and with the aim of resolving the land issues.
‘In my manifesto, I promised the people of Malen to help solve issues around the lands if your votes we’re casted in my favour, you believed in my promise, and went out in your numbers to vote for me and my party. Among my reasons for today’s visit is to thank the people of Malen for voting for me in the last Presidential election.
After the elections, you have also patiently been waiting for us to resolve the land issue once and for all and to develop this country; I also want to take this opportunity to thank the Malen people for their patient.
‘I have already started the Peace process long ago by sending a committee to do fact finding that will form the basis of the action. I want to assure you all that, we are in the middle of the process, and from this day, I’m going to prioritize this issue to ensure that it is revolved once and for all.
President Bio also re-assured his audience that when he return to Freetown he will send a message to the Malen Land Owners Association (MALOA) and the Agricultural Company for a tet-a-tet discussion in Freetown to discuss on a possible and acceptable ways of resolving the existing grievances in the chiefdom.
President Bio also explains to stakeholders in Malen that Socfin Agricultural Company has brought huge amount of money to invest, and it is the responsibility of the government and the local authorities to provide them the platform, by hosting them and equally taking care of their investments.
“The truth is that, the company is now with us and we have started realizing some profits.
As it was said by Mr. Gerben, they have started realizing little profit in their bucket. Moreover, himself and Honorable Sama have started discussing around the grievances, I will tell them to continue talking and planning for peace and Development of Malen. I know the top most expectation of you all was for me to come here and settle your grievances.
President Bio was blunt to explain to residents of Sahn-Malen that as a government they have achieved a lot by implementing the free quality, I never saw light in Sahn, but now they are visible, which means development is on the way. Also, it was a very difficult task for you to send 4 or 5 children to school at a time. I am happier Pujehun District used to have high percentage of school dropout most associated with fees, now those pupils are attending the free quality Education, and “I am going to load their heads with Education”
In his succinct message to the people and government officials; Chief Executive of Socfin Agricultural Company; Gerben Haringsma applauded the President and his government in taking the strains to come and launched the phase 2 projects of the Mills.
President Julius Maada Bio according the CEO is showing that he is not a man of words but a man of strong action which will help to develop the country as a whole.
Also grateful to the people of Sahn Malen including the Paramount Chief and other traditional leaders for making the Socfin Agricultural Company a reality; and he will always be with the people of Sahn-Malen by doubling the Social Responsibilities across the chiefdom.
Finally, Gerben Haringsma also urged the Member of Parliament to come onboard and help push development in chiefdom.
‘I have being engaging Mr. Sheka Sama about 4 months ago to see how we can come together to develop Sahn-Malen’, he said.
Mr. Gerben also predicted that 2021 will be a year of prosperity and development in Sahn-Malen Chiefdom.
Source : Guardian SL, 25/02/2021