Yetunde Oladejo, Osogbo
Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Wednesday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the SpringPort Technological Group to build a Technology Media City and Agriculture Incubation Hub in Ile-Ife, Osun State.
First phase of the technological hub, which is worth $1.4bn, is expected to facilitate massive employment of youths in Ile-Ife.
Also, the start-up phase for master plan would begin with investors in London and Asia the MoU would be presented to Elliot Jones representing Maya Angelo Foundation and American investors.
At the signing of the MoU, Oba Ogunwusi expressed optimism that the project would bring development to Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria and Africa at large.
He explained that the America-based firm partnership with House of Oduduwa was fastened to ensure the success of the project.
According to him, “The initiative is an encouraging one and I urge the team not to relent. When I visited the USA, I met with some Nigerians and told them that people built USA, it did not just develop. I am glad that some Nigerians in the diaspora are also keen to the development of their mother land.
“I am totally in support of the project. I have never started a project without completing it and I hope this will be completed within the stipulated time. We don’t want this to be a typical project that will start and won’t end and because of that we need to sign the MoU today. We will also be fulfilling a larger part of what is expected of us by making available the required land.”
The President of Image Consulting Group, Mrs. Remi Duyile, said the project was part of efforts to show that Nigerians in diaspora were ready to invest in their country.
She stated that her company was convinced to create the synergy between the monarch and America-based firm when the King visited United State of America.
She said, “As a strategic, Public Relations and lobbying Firm in the USA, we were made to realise that there are a lot of business opportunities here in Ife when the Ooni visited us. We came here to verify and confirmed. Many Nigerians in diaspora are ready to invest in Nigeria if support is given.
“We are ready to invest in Nigerian youths. The only challenge is that many Nigerian leaders block most of us in the diaspora from contributing to the development of the country.”
Also, a representative of the America-based firm, Mr. Muyiwa Onitilo, explained that similar initiative helped India to generate over eight million jobs.
According to him, the hub is projected to create employment for 1000 youths in its first phase in Ile-Ife and Osun State.
While making a presentation, Onitilo said, “The project will deliver a modern and progressive Ile-Ife with a strong real estate, technology and infrastructure backbone. It will deliver a master planned community that will allow residents to increase their productivity.
“60 percent of those that will be employed are indigenes of the host community. This is an initiative to improve the home.”
Another member of the team, Victory Oluwasegun explained that the hub would transform the ancient city to a world class place.
He said, “Our plan is that immediately the students are leaving secondary school, they enrol and grow with technology. We want our system to be familiar with technology and we will be doing that in recognition of distinct features and historical figures.
“We developed it with a solution that caters for poor maintenance culture. With the technological hub, we will be able to advance the uniqueness of Ile-Ife to a world brand.”
It would be recalled that Oba Ogunwusi visited USA recently to solicit the support of Africans in diaspora on developmental projects in agriculture, tourism and youth empowerment.