The Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security has rebutted a news publication in the Awoko Newspaper of 8th June 2017 titled: Agric. Minster Calls For Review of Socfin Land Lease in Pujehun District.
According to Prof. Monty Jones, he granted an interview to AWOKO on June 7 but when the story was published the following day it was “twisted and biased,” the Minister said in an angry mood.
The interview was tagged as Sierra Leone Business: where the Minister gave an exclusive interview to the Awoko Newspaper at his Youyi Building office.
According to the Minister the government will review the land lease agreement to meet an acceptable standard as it is done in other countries in the sub-region.
However, the Professor was angry with the whole publication which he confessed was not professionally done by the interviewee.
“They twisted my entire interview to fit themselves,” he said, and described the publication as “bad journalism from the Awoko Newspaper.” Prof. Monty Jones continued that “the entire article was a figment by the interviewee, and I don’t succumbed to such things,” he retorted.
The Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security also urged Sierra Leoneans and other government institutions not to discouraged genuine investors like Socfin Agricultural Company from investing in the country.
The Socfin Agricultural Plants according to the Minister is one of the biggest in Africa and that is good for Sierra Leone and the people.
“Sierra Leone needs such development in the country- we should not scare investors out of Sierra Leone and we should encourage them to invest more and more in the country,” he opined
The Minister also recounted his experience as a young scientist working for West Africa Rice Development Association in Abidjan where a similar situation like the present one occurred.
“It was completely turned around by the Journalist at that time and this is what exactly the Awoko Newspaper has done in their publication.” He confirmed.
In another development, the shareholder of Socfin Agricultural Company who also doubles as Socfin Board member has warn MAYODU not to allow detractors like MALOA and others whose agenda is to belittle the activities of Socfin. Gerben Haringsma encouraged local chiefs and land owners not to relent but to continue to give Socfin the needed support.
He also reiterated Socfin’s ever growing support to help rebuild war-torn Malen Chiefdom and the country as a whole.