Origin Gardens Plan N5b Worth Of Tourism Investments In Ikorodu

Kunle Adelabu

-We are partnering with Origin Gardens – LASG

Prince Biola Kosoko, MD/CEO, Origin Groups (standing 2nd left) delivering the keynote address at the press conference, Otunba Ganiyu Abiru, Chairman, Ikorodu-Oga Development Association (sitting 3rd left), Dr Kayode Bawa-Allah, the Mogaji of Ikorodu and Chairman, Ikorodu Division Economic Development Forum (IKODEF) (sitting middle), His Royal Majesty, Oba Semiudeen Kasali, the Adebruwa of Igbogbo (3rd right) His Royal Majesty, Oba Ajibade Agoro, the Ranodu of Imota (2nd right), and His Royal Majesty, Oba Richard Ogunsanya, the Olubeshe of Ibeshe (right) and Chief Executive Officer of Zebratu Zoo, Lagos at the Origin Gardens Wildlife & Leisure Arcade held at the Ikorodu Town Hall, Ikorodu on Thursday, January 23, 2020.

The first phase of the proposed Origin Gardens Wildlife Park and Leisure Arcade, worth about N5 billion naira and expected to create employment opportunities for thousands of people, will commence in May 2020.

This was revealed at a press conference organized to present the initiative which is being facilitated by the Origin Groups in partnership with the Lagos State Government, Mercury Dredging and Construction Limited, Ikorodu Division Economic Forum, Beijing New Building Material (Group) Company Limited, Jay Steel Roofing Limited, Ehis Tropicals Nigeria Limited and others.

The event, which was held at the Oteju hall of the Ikorodu Town hall on Thursday, January 23, 2020, was attended by royal fathers, eminent personalities and representatives of the state government and other partners of the project.

Also at the event, the Lagos State Government revealed that it is partnering with Origin Gardens Group in achieving the project that will not only transform the social and economic lives of the state, but also preserve some endangered animals from going into extinction.

The project, when completed, is expected to generate 5, 000 employment opportunities.

Prince Biola Kosoko, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Origins Group, addressing members of the press, partners and members of the public at the press conference, stated that the project is a multi-faceted one aimed at impacting on tourism in the state and turnaround Lagos economy which ,according  to him, is emerging as African tourism hub.

According to Kosoko, the first phase of the multi-naira project, which its foundation laying ceremony is scheduled for May 2020, will include Wildlife park, Masquerades Museum, Zoological Museum, Climate Change Museum, History Museum, Car Park, Jetty, Water Park and Amusement Park.

“The proposed location of the wild-life Park and arcade is along Lagos – lkorodu road at Itowolo town within lkorodu division. The proposed wildlife park and arcade, which is one of a kind, is embedded with 23 major attractions and Small Business Units (SBU)”, he stated.

“It is proposed to operate as a one-stop tourist destination…”.

Speaking further on the features of the massive project, Prince Kosoko stated:

“A wild life park that will provide a natural environment for over 350 tropical animals with basic infrastructures to aid animal breeding and conservation practice.

“A zoological museum to aid research on endangered species animals and others. The museum will exhibit Taxidermes and photograph of animals from the tropical, arctic etc.

“An aquarium hub. This will be a first of his type in Saharan Africa, it is a two-face aquarium with salt and fresh water animals to exhibit over 3,000 water creatures. A Lagos historical museum to create a database and keep artifacts on the history of Lagos.

Dr Kayode Bawa-Allah, the Mogaji of Ikorodu and Chairman, Ikorodu Division Economic Development Forum (IKODEF) delivering his welcome address,Prince Biola Kosoko, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Origin Gardens Group (left), Otunba Ganiyu Abiru, Chairman, Ikorodu-Oga Development Association (2nd left), His Royal Majesty, Oba Ajibade Agoro, the Ranodu of Imota (3rd right), His Royal Majesty, Oba Semiudeen Kasali, the Adebruwa of Igbogbo (2nd right) and His Royal Majesty, Oba Richard Ogunsanya, the Olubeshe of Ibeshe (right) at the Origin Gardens Wildlife & Leisure Arcade held at the Ikorodu Town Hall, Ikorodu on Thursday, December 23, 2020.

“A nature pond to preserve the breeding field of the lkorodu shrimps, manatee, stingray and crab. The essence is to prevent these creatures from going into extinction”.

According to Kosoko, the features of the tourism project that will increase the volume of visitors to Ikorodu and Lagos as a whole, also include:

“A five-star hotel with about 1,500 rooms; a world class International conference hall and event centre; suspended cable car station that will allow for an overhead viewing of the wetland, the adjacent mokiti reserve and the total stretch of the Wildlife Park and leisure arcade.

“An art gallery; a sculpture field that will paved space for a life sizes of all social cultural figures for the sight of visitors; Shuttle buses and trains to move over 20,000 tourists daily and twelve (12) world class cinema halls designed to accommodate a minimum of 550 persons at a single stretch”.

The Managing Director of Origin Group also stated that there are also going to be: “A water park designed to provide a recreational ground for kids and adults; a green land where plants and major importance trees are preserved for the appreciation of the public and an aquatic stadium. This is an enhancement of the existing tributaries to create a natural lake to paddle boats and host water related cultural activities.

“A masquerade museum to accommodate 3,000 live sizes masquerades for historical purpose; an amusement park designed to house 15 amusement rides that will majorly be driven by nature and 30% from source of power; food courts and A 5 floors shopping mall to the delight of tourist and visitors.

“A beach front to accommodate over 50,000 tourists with a resort for families or corporate organizations to stay overnight; independent power generating stations via wind and water; a three-floor car park to park about 7,500 cars conveniently and Ferries Terminal to be cited along river Ogun, and be duly equipped to support navigation within the creek and the open Lagos lagoon.

Kosoko also stated that adequate security system will be provided at the place.

Stating the involvement of the Lagos State Government in the project, Prince Kosoko said that partnership agreements have been signed by all the foreign and local investors while also stating that:

“The Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Forestry, has approved the license to build and operate a wildlife park and leisure park within the Lagos forest belt along Lagos-lkorodu road sharing boundaries with the Lagos Lagoon and origin Gardens. The first phase will take off on 5 hectares of land with the projected development to occupy 50 hectares of land after completion”.

He called on interested investors to join in the partnership of promoting tourism and economic developments in the state which, he said, would be of great benefits to everyone.

“The Origin Gardens has signed partnership agreements with a foreign investor, Jay Steel Roofing Limited, a division of Chinese BNBM, and also with local investors namely Mercury Dredge Limited, Ehis Tropical Limited, lrongate Group, and Kudus Concrete Limited”, he stated

“The windows for partnership are still open to willing investors. The Origin Gardens shall be partnering with the Ikorodu Division Economic Forum to promote the project and oversee to the timely completion of the project”.

Dr Kayode Bawa-Allah, the Chairman, Ikorodu Division Economic Forum (IKODEF), speaking earlier at the press conference, described the project as one that will usher in economic prosperity to the host community and the state at large.

“The project will enhance the economic potentials of lkorodu division. I must say from the outset that this project will usher in a new dawn of economic development and prosperity in lkorodu division and Lagos state.

“Here we are today partnering with Origin Zoo and Garden on the project “Origin Wildlife Park and Leisure arcade”. It will be the first in the State and will of course change the face of tourism in Lagos state”.

While stating that IKODEF is a think-tank and policy advocacy group committed to the development of a 21st century economy for lkorodu Division, Dr Bawa-Allah also added that the group has been working with Igbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area (LCDA) to develop the Ibeshe waterfront to a world-class resort.

“In the past few months, our team has approached lgbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area to develop an 820sqm size of land along the Ibeshe waterfront to a world class resort. We are also seeking partnership in conjunction with origin gardens to develop a loading bay at the origin waterfront”, he stated.

Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal stated that Origin is allocated the large expanse of lands to among others preserve some animals that are already going into extinction.

“We have several things in common. The area that he (Origin CEO) wants to go into is an area that we are yet to start looking at. A lot of animals have started going into extinction and some are endangered and there is need to reverse that…. .”

Mr Hunpe Austin, representative of the Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture (left) with Origin Garden’s corporate partners at the press conference on Thursday.

“When he came on board, we decided that this is a project that we have to support. For it to be successful, I suggest that government has to go into it with the Origin Gardens and that was accepted. Now, I can say that Origin Gardens and Lagos State Government are in partnership for this project.

He was represented at the press conference by Mr Hunpe Austin.

“My Commissioner and Special Adviser are very passionate about it.

“It is a massive project. I want to appreciate the OrigIn CEO because he’s dogged, resilient and he’s a goal-getter. He is doing a very good job. In Lagos State, there are only three Zoological Gardens which are not easy to maintain. There are Origin Gardens, Zebratu and Omu Resort.

“Part of the project is captive breeding where you put animals out of their natural environment and make them breed in other to replenish the (animal) population that is declining.

“I want to thank the Ikorodu Economic Forum for partnering with him and supporting him and the traditional rulers. I can assure you that when this project comes on board, it’s not only going to transform the face of Ikorodu alone, but that of the entire Lagos.

“I have seen the slide and I insisted on seeing his foreign partners when he told me that there is one and he brought him to me for a meeting at our Ministry. I can assure you that it’s not going to be an abandoned project”.

The Ranodu of Imota, Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro, in his royal remarks, stated that the project will make Ikorodu Divison a tourism hub and also boost its economic and social lives with increase of visitors and migrants”.

He described the project as Ikorodu’s Disney World and expressed the support of the entire division towards it.

Cross section of guests at the press conference.

The Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Semiudeen Kasali, in his royal message, stated that the array of traditional rulers and other notable people in the division at the press conference shows approval for  the project and urged the investors and partners to take note.

He added that the traditional rulers and entire Ikorodu division are fully involved in the project.

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