Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has unveiled a Public- Private Partnership Community Development plan to create 50,000 jobs for Nigerian youths.
He said governments all over the world cannot transform economy successfully without a productive public-private partnership.
Ooni Ogunwusi, who was in the company of the Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a government-owned Chinese company at his Ile Oodua palace in Ile-Ife yesterday and said the company would invest in agriculture, green energy as well as explore the gold, lithium and other minerals resources in Ile-Ife and the state at large.
The pan-African king said the Chinese company, China Overseas Energy Development Technology Limited, will focus on the development of agriculture, mechanised farming, and cocoa processing in large quantities, stating that solar energy, exploration of lithium, gold, liquefied natural gas and other major mineral resources would be part of their goals.
He added that the company is the biggest in Dubai, China, on the Asia continent, and in the world, with branches in more than 50 countries and 200 cities all over the world, promising that the signing of the MoU will help Ile-Ife, Osun State, and Nigeria’s citizenry experience unprecedented investment flow, expressing confidence in the Chinese company that they would not disappoint with the funding coming from them with billions of dollars.
According to the monarch, “The partnership we are signing today with the China Overseas Technology Development Company Limited is going to give over 50,000 employment opportunities to Osun indigenes.
“These people would first invest in agriculture whereby they would set up a cocoa proceeding plant in Ife where they are going to have their agricultural hub.
“They will farm on over 20,000 hectares of land, generate green energy using solar which is starting from this palace, and this palace will be powered by solar 100 percent within the next 30 to 60 days when it’s completed.”
Ooni said the future of Nigeria’s oil and gas lies in lithium, adding that soonest, oil and gas would go down and lithium would be the only assistance to power batteries, electric cars, and others.
He added that partnership with the Chinese company would be both community and Public-Private Partnership-driven which in the long run would help the economy at the community levels to be emancipated with an emphasis that the investment would be on a large scale for both Osun State and the federal government, adding that the Chinese company is the best producer of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in China, and called for the support of all and sundry.
“In Dubai alone, the Chinese company has invested more than 10 billion dollars. In South Sudan, right now, they are investing over 4 billion dollars. They are now ready to invest the double in Nigeria,” he said.
Also, Governor Adeleke welcomed foreign investors and lauded Ooni for his initiative to conceive the idea and bring it to reality.
Adeleke commended the management of the Chinese company for yielding and agreeing to invest heavily in Ile-Ife and Osun State at large.
He, however, restated his commitment to continue to promote culture, tourism, and entertainment in the state to improve the well-being of the indigenes.
In his remark after signing the MoU, the representative of Mr. Zhang Xiaolin, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company, congratulated Ooni on the celebration of Olojo 2023.
Xiaolin also applauded Ooni for partnering their biggest company that set to invest in agriculture, green energy, and mining among other mineral resources.