Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
Ile-Ife, the ancestral home of over 100 million Yoruba descendants all over the world, is set to be transformed into a global tourist hub. Under the initiative, Ile-Ife in Osun State is expected to be transformed into a World Heritage City.
The promoters of the project led by the Oni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ojaja II and an international business conglomerate, Almajdal Limited said the project involves the transformation of Ile-Ife into the biggest tourist destination in Africa.
Almajdal is an international construction concern with branches in Africa, Europe and Asia. The group is working with Tropical Green City FoundatÃ¬on, an environmental friendly group. The project is to gulp billions of naira.
The promoters said on completion, the project will stir immense wealth and job creation and an economic bang while millions of tourists are expected to look up to an amazing visit to the ancient city.
In a support statement, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi said the â€œproject involves re-construction and beautification of ancient sites, city parks, new boulevards, greenery of the city centres, redesign of the city main boulevard, outskirts and other legacy projects in line with the idea to create the necessary impetus for Ile-Ife and Yoruba cultural renaissance.â€
The Ooni is currently in California where he has been meeting with potential investors including stakeholders in the famous Silicon Valley. The project will also enhance research-based and knowledge driven economy in Nigeria with the South West as the peg.
Countries with people of huge population of Yoruba ancestry in West Africa and Latin America will be enlisted in the project.
â€œWe are set for a legacy project that will uplift one of the oldest cities in the world and put it on the global tourist map.
â€œIt involves rebuilding the over 200 historical and archeological sites dating back to the 8th century, construction of the Yoruba Museum of Natural History, and the Yoruba Ancient War Museum, the rebuilding of the burial place of Oduduwa, the first Ooni of Ife who died around late 9thCentury, the Garden of Saints for late Oonis, the provision of gardens, botanical gardens and fountains across the city.
â€œNo fewer than one million trees of different species will be planted at Ife alone,â€ the Executive Director of Almajdal, an expatriate, Mr. Wali Kutrub, said.
The group will collaborate with Tropical Green City Foundation based in Lagos. The project is expected to employ the services of thousands of artisans and create a job boom in the Ile-Ife axis and the entire South West region.
Kutrub added, â€œIle-Ife is one of the oldest cities in the world. Tourism built around history and heritage is a major source of multi-billion naira revenue for nations all over the world. Nigeria is about to tap these immense resources beginning with the Ile-Ife project.â€
He said about one million tree species sourced from all over the world would be planted at Ile-Ife in a bid to create a green revolution while rare species of plants and animals will be conserved.
He said potentially, millions of tourists from Europe, America and Asia are anxious to visit Ile-Ife but are constrained by environmental factors. With the project, he said the tourist potentials of Nigeria will be enhanced, leading to â€œa cultural renaissance and an economic boom.â€
The Ooni said the Yoruba people all over the world and Nigeria as a country will be grateful to see the success of the amazing project with the highest assurances that the promoters will have their names etched in gold.