By DAPO FALADE
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Oba Festus Olatunji Olatunde, the Onimesi of Imesi and some other traditional rulers have endorsed “The Gifted Project”, a scheme for enterprise development and production business.
The foremost traditional ruler gave his endorsement when he invited Oba Olatunde as his special guest at an event, recently hosted in his palace at Ile-Ife, Osun State.
“The Gifted Project” is an entrepreneurial scheme with its areas of focus cutting across technology, engineering, science, entrepreneurship, agro bussines, arts and design, packaged by “Engaged Diaspora Foundation”.
Oba Ogunwusi, who is the grand patron of Engage Diaspora Foundation, said he was thrilled to host the Onimesi of Imesi, Oba Olatunde, after several failed invitations.
He said he will not leave any stone unturned to ensure the youths are geared, mentored and shown the path towards realisation of their potentialities and dreams.
He went down memory lane as he spoke on the many years of fruitful relationship he has with the family of Oba Olatunde and advised him to visit Ife regularly, more so when the ancestral home of the people of Imesi remains Ife Ooye.
The Onimesi of Imesi, Oba Olatunji, apologised to the Ooni of Ife over his failure to honour the various invitations to the Ife Palace, disclosing that he had been preoccupied with settling down on his throne and familiarising himself with his vast domain after he was installed on 16 June, 2020.
He pledged to work with “Engage Diaspora Foundation” to ensure that youths, particularly in Imesi and Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State benefit tremendously from the rich and encouraging package of the foundation.
“You will recall that my enterprise, Tubi International Investment Limited, Akure, won the 2018 MSME award for creativity and innovation. The award was given by His Excellency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo,” he said.
Another traditional ruler present at the event, the Ajero of Ijero, Oba Joseph Adebayo Adewole, thanked the Ooni for “fetching out enterprise gurus” like Onimesi of Imesi and urged Oba Olatunde to release his enterprise potentials for the benefit of the youths of Imesi and the whole of Ekiti State.
He described the ascension of Oba Olatunde to the throne of his forefathers at this challenging times in the country’s enterprise terrain as a gift to Imesi Community and Ekiti youths in particular.
Oba Adewole, who is the chairman Board of Trustees of “The Gifted Project”, informed the gathering that Oba Olatunde is his childhood friend, adding that he said they both shared same bed as bachelor’s many years ago.
Another personality at the event, Hajia Opeyemi Aisha Oni, was full of appreciation to the traditional rulers present for their tremendous encouragement and promised to ensure the ideals of the foundation are fulfilled.
“The event at the Oonirisa Palace marked the official launching of “The Gifted Project” and emergent participants in this collaborative innitiative will enjoy among others: three years of factory space at the nearest Technology Incubation Centre (TIC).
They will also enjoy subsidised accommodation near the TIC; Accelerated patenting rights through NOTAP; access to MSMEs one stop shop nationwide; and access to local and international markets and funding.
Partners on the Board of “Engage Diaspora Foundation” included the National Board for Technology Incubation, Odua Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Ekiti State Government, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and SMEDAN, among others.