Ife Grand Resort: Ooni’s hub of culture, tourism, urban development


Abimbola Abatta, Osogbo

Under the reign of the current Ooni of Ile-Ife, the ancestral city is moving on the path of development and transformation through the various initiatives championed by the prominent monarch.

It is a known fact that Ile-Ife in Osun State is the ancestral and spiritual home of all bonafide Yorubas in Nigeria and beyond.

As part of the efforts to establish the city as the true source of civilisation, stemming from its history, culture, and tradition Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, is set to commission Ife Grand Resort & Industrial Park.

The Resort is strategically located beside the tollgate on the Ife-Ibadan expressway to serve as the hub for sustainable development.

The initiative is targeted at creating employment opportunities, empowering residents and citizens, while also projecting the cultural heritage of the ancestral home of the Yorubas.

A statement by the Ooni’s Director of Media and Public Affairs, Moses Olafare had revealed that “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.’”

This move portrays the selflessness of the Ooni as well as his commitment to making Ile-Ife, a hub of growth, development, and global attraction.

The resort, which is planted on over 1000 acres of land, offers facilities for exquisite accommodation and houses volumes of industrial and agricultural parks.

Also situated within the Ife Grand Resort is a 3000-seats capacity Meeting, Incentives, Conference and Events(MICE) Centre which is branded ‘Ojaja Arena.’

The complex was brought to Ile-Ife to serve as the epicentre of MICE in Africa and it has been adorned with all the facilities that would promote invaluable, impactful, and insightful events in Ile-Ife.

Since one of the primary factors that drove this initiative was the quest for impacting the youths, the MICE will be a focal point of training and manpower development for Nigerian youths, thereby greatly reducing unemployment and social vices in the country.

In his usual compassionate manner, Ooni Ogunwusi had said, “The question on my lips has been, what will these young vibrant youths be doing after tertiary education. 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 by creating a smart city for them to display whatever they can do to become employers of labour after graduation.”

When the youths are empowered and gainfully employed, this will not only eradicate criminal activities in Nigeria but will also create a haven for international investors. And when international investment is established, economic development will be guaranteed.

It was gathered that one of the industrial parks within the Grand Resort, the Adire hub has engaged 50 people, empowered over 150 others and is producing Adire in bales which are being exported to other countries.

In addition, one of the agricultural parks in the Ife Grand Resort concentrates on the rearing of Ostriches and has provided job opportunities for 40 staff members who are rearing Ostriches intending to produce ostrich hides and skin for export purposes.

Some of the industrial parks have also been receiving pledges and acknowledgement from Africans in the Diaspora who are prepared to equip and empower interested individuals in diverse sectors of the park.

Doing this will further advance the empowerment of Nigerian youths and mitigate the harsh consequences of post-COVID-19.

Without an iota of doubt, the Ife Grand Resort as well as other initiatives are parts of the legacies that will positively benefit the current and future generations of Nigerians.

Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi is skillfully and intentionally building the Ile-Ife of his dreams and propelling the ancestral city towards the path of economic and social emancipation by tapping into the potentials of the land.