Ooni signs MoU with US coy to construct $1.4bn technology hub in Ile-Ife
THE Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a United States based company, identified as SpringPort Technological Group to build a technology, media city and agriculture incubation hub in the ancient town of Ile-Ife.
The development came barely two weeks to the return of the Ooni from the USA where he had earlier visited to seek involvement of Africans in Diaspora in his peace and unity agenda and solicit their support for the continent on developmental projects in agriculture, tourism, infrastructure and youth development.
Tribune Online gathered that with the MoU, the technological hub worth $1.4billion in its first phase is expected to facilitate massive employment of youths in Ile-Ife. After the MoU was signed, the start-up phase for master plan was to begin with investors in London and Asia.
Subsequently, the MoU would be presented to Elliot Jones representing Maya Angelo Foundation, Jason Harrison ofTredic Corporation, UK and some other American/Asian investors.
While signing the MoU, Oba Ogunwusi expressed optimism that the project would spur development across Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria and Africa at large, explaining that “the partnership with House of Oduduwa was fastened to ensure the success of the project.”
According to the monarch, “the initiative is an encouraging one and I urge the team not to relent. When I visited the USA, I met with our people in Diaspora and told them that people built USA, it did not just develop. Just like the USA citizens built America, 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.”
In her remark, 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 explained that her company was made to create the synergy between the Ooni and America-based firm when the King visited United State of America.
Duyile further stated that “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 Nigerians youth talent. The only the challenge is that many Nigerian leaders block most of us in the diaspora from contributing to the development of the country,” she added.
A representative of the American based firm, Mr Muyiwa Onitilo, explained that similar initiative helped India to generate over eight million employments, stressing that the hub was projected to create employment for 1000 youths in its first phase in Ile-Ife and Osun State.
He 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. Sixty per cent of those that will be employed are indigenes of the host community. This is an initiative to improve the home.”