Following the Parliamentary ratification of the agreement between Sierra Tropical Limited (STL) and the Government of Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) on 28th May 2019 moved to witness the signing of Lease Agreement, Deed of Acknowledgement and Crop Compensation Agreements between STL, land owners and relevant stakeholders in Sumbuya, Lugbu Chiefdom, Bo District.
STL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dole Asia Holdings, establishing pineapple plantation and planning to set up an agro-processing facility in Sumbuya. SLIEPA has been working with STL since its inception. Among other things, it has facilitated its establishment and contributed to the Parliamentary ratification of agreement between STL and the Sierra Leone Government.
When explaining the role of SLIEPA in the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Mr. Sheku Lexmond Koroma, said the agency serves as a link representing the Government of Sierra Leone to adequately protect the interest of both the company and the land owners. He admonished the people to sign the agreement on their free volition having thought of it very carefully, because the law will frown at anyone who breaks the agreement after signing it. He ended by assuring both the company and the community people of subsequent visit of the Aftercare Service Team to ensure a peaceful coexistence between the two parties.
The Regent Chief of Lugbu Chiefdom, Chief Modiboh Fofana, in welcoming the delegation in his chiefdom, appealed to his people to sign the agreement to enable STL establish its operations for the benefit of the country at large and Lugbu Chiefdom in particular.
According to statement from one of the land owners, Mr. Brima Samu, the presence of STL Company in their community is a blessing, because it is evident that the company is impacting positively on the lives of their people and their community. Mr. Samu extended his gratitude to SLIEPA and other players for bringing STL to them. He noted that their family has signed a lease agreement with STL for over eighty seven hectares of land.
The lawyer representing the land owning families, Pawusu Bangura, thanked everyone for witnessing the signing of the agreement. He told his clients to ask him questions or concerns they may want to clarify. He assured them of working with STL lawyers and SLIEPA to ensure the success of the ceremony on their behalf.
The signing of the said agreements occurred in the presence of the Lugbu Chiefdom Authorities, STL lawyers, the lawyer representing the land owners and SLIEPA as one of the witnesses.
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