Ooni Ogunwusi: The making of a tourism friendly Oba

With the emergence of Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi as the new Ooni of Ife, Ife the cradle of Yoruba history and civilization is about to become the centre of tourism and culture in the country, considering the incoming Ooni’s love for tourism.
This has been demonstrated by his massive investment into the tourism and hospitality sector with Inagbe Grand Resort in Lagos.
The massive investment running into billions of naira speaks volumes for Ogunwusi as he has also perfected plans to replicate the massive resort in Osun, Abuja and other places before destiny smiled on him and he emerged the Ooni.
Few months ago before the demise of the immediate past Ooni, the late Sijuwade, when the option of becoming the new Ooni, was not even considered, Ogunwusi sat among some tourism Journalists at the Inagbe Resort telling them his plans for the resort and need to replicate the resort in other places to promote tourism growth and create employment.
Dressed in a blue shirt and a milk coloured Chinos trousers Ogunwusi, reeled out his vision to take Nigerian tourism to a greater height though the building of world class resorts that can be compared to whatever is obtainable anywhere in the world.
The event was the unveiling of the Resort Explore Card for corporate clients, tourists and other Nigerians aimed at simplifying bookings and opening of the tourism industry in Lagos and Nigeria in general.
Speaking during the media briefing at the Resort, the chief executive officer of Gran Imperio Group, and new Ooni, Adeyeye Ogunwusi disclosed that the product is not only for the elites but also for other Nigerians who will stand the opportunity of accumulating points through their patronage.

Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the new Ooni of Ife
Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the new Ooni of Ife

Ogunwusi noted that the Explore Card is a scheme that is tested and trusted which will provide an individualized service designed around clients’ lifestyle and preferences.
He stated that the explore card is a form of loyalty card where a customer can accumulate points which will invariably afford the clients the opportunity to explore nature, experience romantic dinner at the floating lounge and other services at the resort at a discounted rate.
We are trying to replicate this resort all over the country, North, South, East and West, looking at states with comparative advantage. We are looking at replicating this resort in Osun and Abuja for now and other parts of the country. Here we want to make coconut butter from coconuts, milk at our factory at the resort where our chairs are made locally using the coconut wood, we want to manufacture everything to be used here at the resort locally to enhance the economic value of this area, Ogunwusi said.
In his words, “considering the high cost of travelling abroad to Europe, America and other countries to experience something like this, one can save all that cost and experience nature at it best at Inagbe Resort for the whole family as we have different packages for the children and adults, this is a non oil sector of the economy that is going to boom, countries like The Gambia, South Africa and others depend on tourism for survival and growth. Here the foreign tourists are coming in droves.”

Inagbe Grand Resort
Inabge Grand Resort and Leisure is not only about leisure and exploration but also creating employment through manufacturing of quality products made locally with local materials.
According to Ogunwusi, most of the products used at the resort are manufactured locally, like tissue paper, the cain chairs, the glass doors, windows and others. The only things at the resort that are imported are the television, air conditioners and fridges.
He said: “There are lots of other things you can do, we provide an individualized services around your life style and preferences because we understand that everyone has different tastes. There is no maintenance charges, no extra charges, the value of your points is what you spend at the resort plus up to 50 percent discount on all bookings. 100,000points and above gets you up to 50 percent discount, 50,000to 99,000 points gets you up to 30 percent discount, 10,000 to 49,000 points gets up to 10 percent discount as all booking are subject to availability.”
This is a perfect resort for corporate clients and other Nigerians which is suitable for marriage, marriage proposal, party, family reunion and get together, for seminars and workshops as the resort has a multi- purpose hall that can accommodate over 1200 guest and a floating lounge that can accommodate 250 persons. The Resort has hosted companies like Nestle, KPMG, Indomie and others as we also gear up to host the African international film festival, Ogunwusi added.
He disclosed that that the resort has 130 rooms with 86 of the rooms facing the lagoon and 44 facing the Atlantic which is more expansive than the rooms facing the lagoon.
At the resort, we experience seasonal patronage, is a bit slow during rainy season and this period of Ramadan, the peak period is around November and December, more so, the points expire two years after subscription while it is preferable for 48 hours booking notice to be given ahead, the chief executive officer of Gran Imperio Group emphasised.
A visit around the resort showed the workers in the factory working on the chairs with the woods from the coconut trees which are cut down and new ones planted, especially the old coconut trees.
The resort has 18 hole golf course under construction, two helipads for helicopters and small aircraft to land for those who may prefer to come to the resort on air, ready boats at designated points that will bring clients to the resort with little charges around N7000 or slightly higher.
On the challenges facing the resort, Ogunwusi explained that the problem of power is one of their major challenges as the resort spends 10 million naira monthly on power.
The resort also has a plastic recycling plant and other environmentally friendly industries which employs 80 people from the surrounding communities.
The villagers here are tapping palm wine so we have everything here, both the international and local drinks, we have lots palm trees and coco nut trees planted naturally here, he said.
On his experience before coming into resort and leisure business, Ogunwusi added that” am a real a state developer, for you to set up a resort like this; you have to be a real estate developer as well because that is one other components of real estate developing. The entire projects in different phases is estimated to cost like 300 million dollars when completed, is a gradual thing, the golf course is going on , 18 hole golf course, is an ongoing project we are using Nigerians to train other Nigerians on how a golf course should be built, we have done more than 40 percent of the entire project. Is an ongoing projects, it took a year of intensive work to get to this level we are now.”
He maintained that, “we want to start the one in Osun by the end of the year the one in Abuja, Niger state Kaduna border by the end of the year concurrently by the time we stabilize this by the first quarter of this year by that time we have stabilised this one, then we will move on to the one in Osun and Abuja and after we will move to other parts of the country because Nigeria must develop that is why we are spreading out, that is what am saying, the country must be developed by us and not by foreigners”
Inagbe Grand Resort and Leisure, a natural landscape graced with tranquility and peaceful atmosphere is located just 15 minutes away from Victoria Island, Banana Island and Ikoyi within a friendly community rich in culture and history of ancient Lagos monarchy which is home to the Esinmikan Royal Family.
Here guest can experience a warm reception while enjoying the intriguing views of the brilliant landscaped garden complemented with fountains and the Lagos Lagoons, one is conveyed to his suite including a wonderful evening at a classical floating events platform and a floating restaurant overlooking the lagoon with its unforgettable unique effect.
Prince Ogunwusi was born 40 years ago into the family of John Oluropo Ogunwusi from the famous Ojaja Lineage of the Giesi ruling house of the Agbedegbede Quarters in Ile-Ife, Prince Ogunwusi’s mother, Margaret Wuraola Sidikatu Abegbe Ogunwusi, was born into the family of Soji-Opa, a prominent Cocoa merchant in Ile-Ife.
Ogunwusi attended The Polytechnic, Ibadan, where he obtained a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Accountancy and after school; he became a successful real estate merchant. He is a certified member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and of the Institute of Management.
The Ooni desinate is also the managing director of Howard Roark Gardens Limited which is undertaking multi-million naira Jacob Mews Estate project in Yaba and the Lakeview real estate development in Lekki. He is non executive director Imperial Homes Mortgage Bank Limited (a subsidiary of GTBank)
Ogunwusi has been involved in engineering, procurement and construction, EPC contracts locally and abroad for over 11 years.
He was involved in the development of the Northern Foreshore Estate, Cityscape International Limited’s Buena Vista project in Lekki, Primewaterview Limited’s projects, Westcom Limited projects, and the Ajaokuta Steel’s and Delta Steel’s resuscitation projects.

Inagbe 1

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