By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a US based company SpringPort Technological Group to build a Technology, Media City and Agriculture Incubation Hub in the ancient town.
The event is sequel to the return of the monarch from the United States of America (USA) where he had earlier visited to seek involvement of Africans in Diaspora in his peace and unity agenda.
Oba Ogunwusi also used the opportunity of the visit to solicit support his host for developmental projects in agriculture, tourism, infrastructure and youth development in Ifeland.
With the MoU, the technological hub worth $1.4bn in its first phase, is expected to facilitate massive employment of youths in Ile-Ife and that 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.
The monarch expressed optimism that the project would span development across Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria and Africa at large, adding that the partnership was fastened to ensure the success of the project.
“The initiative is an encouraging one and I urge the team not to relent. When I visited the USA, I met with our Diasporan people 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 u by making available the required land.”
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.
“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.”