Boost for Ile–Ife tourism zone, as Motherland Beckons attracts $1.4 billion Technology City

Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (middle) signing the MoU for the project with guests and palace officials

Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (middle) signing the MoU for the project with guests and palace officials

The Tourism Zone Ile – Ife, which was declared early in the year by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja 2), is set to welcome a mega project, as Motherland Beckons has facilitated a $1.4 billion Technology City project that is to outpace the Silicon Valley in Ile – Ife, Osun State.

The project is bringing huge globally recognised organisations and institutions to Africa, alongside past and present US Mayors, Marlon Jackson of Jacksons’ Five and Shaggy.

In this instance, it has brought renowned US – based business groups, SprintPort Technological Group and Image Consulting to partner with the House of Oduduwa, the Ooni of Ife, on the building of the technology, media and agriculture city in Ile – Ife, with the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signed and the land for the project released.

The representative of SprintPort Technological Group, Dickson Yemi Oluwasegun, disclosed that the Technology City, is designed to make Nigeria a leader in ICT, create millions of jobs, promote tourism, as well as boost the country’s economy, while fast tracking its technological development.

“The Technology City is going to be everything technology integrated into the system, whereby the project is building itself. It is going to be an open and transparent environment so that people can feel safe, people can feel encouraged and it is going to be an affordable living environment and it is not for the elite,” said Oluwasegun, a Nigerian born American with over 20 years history in ICT.

He explained further said, “this is for everyone and we want a situation where we have 24/7 electricity, where we have 24/7 internet access, where we have various productions and people have the opportunity to live their lives like we live in overseas.”

According to him, the city is going to be an all inclusive city serving as a hub for all the sectors of the economy and all forms of human activities but driven by the most modern technology.

“It is not just for one industry, we are looking at all industries, we looking at the banking sector, we looking at technology companies coming in, the likes of Google, the likes of Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon, all having an environment where they can strive just the same way that they strive in other parts of the world.

He explained that Nigerians and Nigerians in Diaspora, who would be wooed and encouraged to invest in it and also transport their expertise, would build the city.

“We are not bringing them (Expatriates) here to do it for us; we are not asking expatriates to come here but we are calling on The Diaspora that understands where they come from to come and lend a hand in making this possible. So Nigerians are going to be the core people here, those who are in elementary school, secondary school and now moving on to the universities, we are looking for those who have new experiences. We are doing this with the individuals here on ground. We have suffered brain drain over the years and our products are the best all over the world.

He, however said, “the ones that are still here we want to make sure that we provide the environment where they don’t have to feel that they have to travel out. We want them to stay right here to develop themselves and the country. We want them to go into the Technology City and learn software development; hardware development and other projects whereby they can allow their minds to just go free.

Describing the initiative as an incubation process, he informed that, “we have the best of the best that are home grown here and we want to be able to train those talents right here, mentor them and grow them. We have programmes for leadership, we have programmes for mentorship, we have programmes for business coaching. So, everything that they will look to get outside the country will be provided here in the country.”

Funding for the project, according to Oluwasegun, would not be an issue as he disclosed that “investors are coming, investors want to put money into great, great ideas, the next Google is going to be birthed right here in Nigeria. That is a fact, I am not just saying that but it is a fact and when that happens the Technology City will be ready for those people to come on board.

“The Technology City will be build so that people can come in with those ideas and give vitality to what is going on Nigeria today. We are looking to partner with various sectors, the banking sector, hospitality, real estate, like you have never seen before.’’

Speaking on the initiative, the Chief Executive Officer of Image Consulting, Mrs. Remi Duyile, who is the former Vice President of Bank of America and one of the facilitators of the project, expressed great delight and appreciation to Motherland Beckons that invited her from the United States, alongside other professionals, including the president of All Black Lawyers in London and Wales, Barrister Peter Herbert, Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDOA) America, Barrister Gbenga Adewusi, to witness the declaration ceremony of Ile – Ife as a Tourism Zone.

Duyile, who had the opportunity of meeting the Ooni for the first time, noted that she was charged by Motherland Beckons to use her good office and network, alongside other professionals to attract developmental projects that would create wealth and prosperity for Ile – Ife, Nigeria and Africa, to the Tourism Zone. It was her heeding the call of Motherland Beckon that has metamorphosed into the project.

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