OONI SET TO COMMISSION URBAN RENEWAL PROJECTS, EMPHASIZES HIS COMMITMENT TO BUILDING A SMART CITY THAT IS DRIVEN BY TECHNOLOGY

The Arole Oduduwa and Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, will on Friday 16 July, 2021 lead top dignitaries including the Governor, State of Osun, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, to officially launch Ife Grand Resort & Industrial Park in Ile-Ife.

In a statement signed by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare and obtained by Ife City Blog on Tuesday, the Grand Resort, located beside the tollgate on the Ife-Ibadan expressway is a brand new city of hubs driven by urban renewal initiatives of the Ooni Ogunwusi to serve as the hub for sustainable development, fountain of employment generation, radar of empowerment and satellite for branding and showcasing the cultural heritage and value of Ile-Ife the source and natural headquarters of the Oduduwa race globally.

According to the press release, the huge investment is a legacy project embarked upon by Ooni Ogunwusi for urban renewal and redevelopment into the current smart city global requirements in the selfless spirit of 'Charity Begins At Home' 

The Ife Grand Resort and Leisure which is planted on over 1000 acres of land will aside from offering facilities for exquisite lodging/accommodation, harbour multiple industrial parks with pockets of industries currently producing many industrial and agricultural products as well as rendering essential services to the resort, the Ife community and Nigeria. 

Sitting comfortably within the Ife Grand Resort which is a focal attraction on Friday is the 3000 seating capacity Meeting Incentives Conference and Event(MICE) Centre branded 'Ojaja Arena', a complex of architectural wonder planted by Ooni Ogunwusi to add value of relevance to urban renewal in Ile - Ife. 

Ooni Ogunwusi disclosed that he deliberately brought the 3000 seating capacity event centre to make Ile-Ife the epicentre of MICE in Africa, saying that the 'Ojaja Arena' has been configured and positioned with all facilities to satisfy demands of Meetings , Incentives, Conference and Event adding that it would also shore up intellectual and congregational activities in Ile Ife, the ancient source of mankind. 

"We are building a brand new city driven by urban renewal initiative. The Ojaja Arena is basically not built for social activities but a centre for training and manpower development for youths in this country, considering Ile-Ife to have over 500 thousand students of about 20 tertiary institutions; Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and Schools of Nursing within 100km radius surrounding Obafemi Awolowo University built at the nucleus Centre in Ife over 60 years ago. 

"The question in my lips has been, what will these young vibrant youths will be doing after tertiary institutions, the best bet is to set up a hub that is technology friendly to boost and drive small and medium scale industries within our country Nigeria by creating a smart city for them to display whatever they can do to become employers of labour after graduation. It is a sad truth that no industries to employ them all. We can only encourage them to create industries for and by themselves because that is the reality on ground". Ooni said. 

The natural traditional head of the House of Oduduwa worldwide also revealed that "One of the industrial parks within the Ife Grand Resort Colony, the Adire hub has engaged 50 people, empowered over 150 others and started producing adire in bales which are being exported to foreign countries.

He also disclosed that one of the agricultural parks which specializes in rearing of Ostriches has also employed another set of 40 staff who have started rearing Ostriches in an unprecedented manner with the vision to produce ostrich hides and skin in high commercial quantity for export purposes.

The Co-chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN) revealed that the various industrial parks have started receiving collaboration and acknowledgement from Africans in diaspora who are willing and ready to train and empower interested individuals in various segments of the park.

"We have received pledges for training and exchange programs between the Brazilian, Cuban and other governments in the carribeans towards the empowerment of Nigerian youths both the male and female folks for post- COVID -19 empowerment action plan" 

"We are occupying over 1,000 acres, we are building a brand new city that Urban renewal and it is going to be a itech environment, it is a smart city that will have a hub, industrial hub, Ostrich farming hub, Adire Hub, Green farming, Sport Academy, film and entertainment village. The resort is a culture and tourism destination that is close to nature. You don't even have to move around the country." 

"What we're doing is to replicate this, we have already commenced in Ondo, Oyo and Lagos states and we shall be launching these projects concurrently. It is a means of creating an avenue for our young minds to see Nigeria from a positive perspective, so we're creating a country from a country.

"A country in the sense that is a localized environment, for them to be there and be successful and reach out to the world like the typical Adire hub that we have done we are exporting to 25 countries now. We are shipping to everywhere in the world and we have agents all over.

"We started that one just three months ago and it is fast gaining global recognition, the same we are going to start organic remedies (Our herbal medicinal products recently launched strategically with YEMKEM). We'll soon have a factory here from where we'll send it to the world.

"So it is an industrial park that is fintech driven and it is through fintech that we're even selling what we are selling at the hub. They place orders from anywhere globally and we ship to them, life is easy for everybody.

"There is equally the African village that reminds us of our ancient ways of living and yet bring it to the modern world, everything that has to do with pan African is there. Then the sporting arena is another industry that is huge, we would have a mini camp for training and development in the sporting world. We are going to have an 18 hole Golf Course." Ooni said.

The resort is scheduled to host the Grand reception aspect of the installation activities for the Iyalaje of Oduduwa Race worldwide to be conferred on the Lagos business magnate cum philanthropist Princess (Dr.) Toyin Kolade by the Arole Oduduwa, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife on Saturday.

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