The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) on Tuesday, 12th July 2016 at his Ile Oodua Palace, Ile-Ife signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with United State of America (USA) based company, SpringPort Technology Group, to build a Technology, Media City and Agriculture Incubation Hub in Ile-Ife.
Before ascending to the throne, the Ooni of Ile-Ife was a savvy business-minded individual who delved into engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) locally and abroad for over 12 years. He was also actively involved in the development of over 2,500 housing units with various consortia of developers within the last 8 years.
The announcement, which confirms to his subjects that his extended trips out of Ile-Ife had a clear goal, comes 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. Subsequently, he also solicited their support for the continent on developmental projects in agriculture, tourism, infrastructure and youth development.
With the MoU, the technological hub worth $1.4bn in its first phase, is expected to facilitate 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.
Ooni Adeyeye expressed optimism that the project would span development across Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria and Africa at large. He explained that the partnership with House of Oduduwa 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 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. - Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi
While signing the MoU, the Ooni added that, he is totally in support of the project and hopes the project 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.” - Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi
Representative of SpringPort Technology Group, Muyiwa Onitilo of Principle Technologies explained that similar initiatives helped India to generate over eight million employments. The agriculture hub is projected to create employment for 1000 youths in its first phase in Osun State. He added that, “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.
Though Springport Technology Group don't have a website yet that projects who they are and what they stand for as an organization, information reaching us clears that they are mostly Nigerians in diaspora looking to change the landscape through quality investment and partnerships. We most definitely will bring you more details about the Agric-Hub and the people behind it. So watch this space for updates as they unfold.