The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has partnered a Chinese company, China Overseas Energy Development Technology Limited, to provide employment for 50, 000 residents of Osun State.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the monarch and the company took place at the Ooni’s palace, with the state governor, Ademola Adeleke, in attendance.
According to a statement by the Ooni’s spokesperson, Moses Olafare, on Tuesday, the Chinese Company would focus on the development of agriculture, mechanised farming and large-scale cocoa farming.
Olafare added that the company would also invest in green energy and explore the state’s gold, lithium and other mineral resources.
“The partnership we are signing today with 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, this palace will be powered by solar 100% within the next 30 to 60 days when it’s already completed,” the statement said.
The Ooni emphasised that the future of Nigeria’s energy sector lied in lithium as oil and gas resources were depleting, adding that oil and gas would power batteries, electric cars and other applications.
He stated that the partnership with the Chinese company would involve both community and public private collaboration, aiming to boost the local economy.
He added that the investment, both at the state and federal levels would focus on Liquefied Natural Gas production.
He urged everyone to be supportive of the initiative.
On his part, Adeleke commended the management of the Chinese company for yielding and agreeing to invest heavily in the state.
He also lauded Ooni for his initiative to conceive the idea and bring it to reality.
After signing the MoU, the Managing Director of the company, Zhang Xiaolin, applauded Ooni for partnering with the company.