The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Friday pledged that the multimillion naira worth Ife Grand Resort and Industrial Park, was established for youth development and capacity building.
Ooni Ogunwusi who made the position known at the official opening of the facility along Ife/Ibadan expressway, Ile-Ife, explained that direct employment has been created for over one hundred youths while indirect employment opportunities have equally been created for over five hundred others.
In his address through a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, Ooni Ogunwusi urged stakeholders especially those in leadership capacities to create platforms capable of engaging the youths productively, to discourage them from involving in criminal acts.
“Our father the Ooni is sending a strong message through Ife Grand Resort and Industrial Park to all of us here that we should engage our youths and offer them dependable mentorship. This is one among several activities of the Arole Oduduwa and I want us all to emulate this enviable gesture.”
Delivering his address, the Executive Governor of Osun State, Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, lauded ‘Ooni’s exemplary passion for socioeconomic development’.
Governor Oyetola said the initiative is in tandem with his administration’s development agenda which is focused on revitalising the economy and stimulating the local socioeconomic indices for maximum growth.
“For anyone familiar with Kabiyesi’s trajectory and passion for youth and socioeconomic development, this indeed would not come as a surprise.
“In 2019, he organised a Summit on Addressing Growing Youth Unemployment in Nigeria: The Significance of Made in Nigeria and Buy Nigeria, to rally Nigerians to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods.
“Ooni Ogunwusi donated motorised Local Fumigators to States across Nigeria during the Covid-19 pandemic. He also partnered with Afe Babalola on clinical research to develop drugs and vaccines to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.
“As a Government, we are immensely proud of your achievements since your assumption of the throne of your forefathers. This sprawling edifice is another worthy feather in this regard.
“I must note that this resort, no doubt, is in tandem with our Administration’s Development Agenda, which is focused on revitalising our economy and stimulating the local economy for maximum growth. This we are doing by leveraging, in the first instance, our comparative advantage in tourism and culture, mining and agriculture.
“Our infrastructure development plan is also carefully targeted at ensuring that we open up the latent economic potential of our towns by ensuring that our people are supported with the requisite social amenities for a decent living.
“Therefore, we are immensely grateful to Kabiyesi for joining forces with us to strengthen our economy. I urge other royal fathers to take a cue from Kabiyesi by using their influence and instrument of office to support the development of our State.
“Let me employ this medium to stress that initiatives such as Ooni is creating and attracting to Ile-Ife will only thrive and be sustainable in an atmosphere of peace. I therefore appeal to our youths and people to continue to allow peace to reign so that they can enjoy the dividends of the enterprise,” he added.
The same vein, the Vice-President, ARM Africa; an internatiional firm partnering the Ooni on the project, Mr. mark Tampoya, said, “We at ARM Africa are proud to have you as our Chairman and we assure you of efficient service delivery.”
The event which was heavily attended by top dignitaries including the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, ex governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Ife-born former Deputy Governor of Osun, Senator Iyiola Omisore, ex Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Erelu Olusola Obada, Reverend Mother Esther Ajayi, also had traditional rulers, business tycoons and other top dignitaries in attendance.
The Ife Grand Resort and Industrial Park is spread on over 1,000 acres of land, consisting of facilities for lodging/accommodation, a 3, 000 seating capacity Meeting Incentives Conference and Event (MICE) Centre branded ‘Ojaja Arena’ and multiple industrial parks.