ONITSHA – The Anambra State Government is targeting the acquisition of 500,000 hectares of land for its agricultural transformation programme meant to provide massive employment for over 100,000 people, especially youths.
Igwe Chukwuemeka Ilouno, the Interim Chairman of the 12-man Land Acquisition Committee, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Onitsha, Anambra, on Friday.
Ilouno said that over 50,000 hectares donated by two agrarian communities for the agricultural programme had already been surveyed, adding that the land were leased to the government without much pressure.
Ilouno, who is also the Chairman of Anambra Central (Zone) Traditional Rulers’ Council, said that the committee had also secured nine natural body of large water for fish ponds under the new agricultural scheme.
“I have not seen such a massive support from our people to any government before; Gov. Willie Obiano is highly lucky and blessed.
“Communities, through their presidents-general and traditional rulers, are on their own calling us (committee members) to come, survey and start something on their land for the benefit of the people, especially the youths.
“I know that most times in the South-East, it is difficult for people to give you their birth-right, which is their land no matter the circumstances.
“And if you force yourself into the land, it would be difficult for you to succeed with any purpose you intend to achieve on that land.
“With this, I see Gov. Willie Obiano succeeding, since our people willingly, from their hearts, want to lend a helping hand and co-operate with him in his programmes.’’
The traditional ruler of Ifitedunu community in Dunukofia said that the committee had written to the governor requesting for more surveyors.
“As more land is being secured, the work is becoming much for the few government-employed surveyors.’’
He expressed optimism that most communities would key into the programme to ensure that the available arable land would be productively utilised within the next two years.
The Ilouno-led committee comprises three traditional rulers, Chairman of the Anambra State Town Unions (ASTU), local government chairmen as well as commissioners and permanent secretaries of the state ministries of agriculture, local government affairs and lands. (NAN)