Oyo State government woos investors for Captain Bower’s Tower, others
Despite the nation’s economic downturn, which has stifled internal generated revenue, Oyo State Government is already seeing a huge opportunities in major monuments and wooing local and international prospective investors.
The State authorities plan to engage the private sector in the establishment, resuscitation, rehabilitation and management of five tourist sites under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme through the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
Under the programme, the government is embarking on the establishment, rehabilitation and management of Captain Bower’s Tower, Oke-Are, Ibadan; Cultural Centre, Mokola Hill Ibadan; Ado-Awaye Suspended Lake, Araromi LCDA, Ado-Awaye; establishment of Ironsi-Fajuyi Memorial Park and Gardens, Lalupon and Eleyele Water Front Resort, Ibadan.
Among the proposed project is the renovation and redevelopment of Captain Bower’s Tower, which served as the home of Captain Bower; one of the earliest Colonial District Officers of Ibadan. The vantage position from the Spiral Tower (Layipo) enables a breath taking panoramic view of virtually the entire city of Ibadan. The site consists of a small restaurant, amphitheater, Captain Bower’s Colonial residence, chalet and game area.
The Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Toye Arulogun explained the government wants investors to set up fun parks, both indoor and outdoor; install standard power generating set; provision of security measures within around the centre while also embarking on beautification and landscaping of the site and adjoining grounds.
Another renovation is anticipated for the Cultural Centre, which is a massive and great architectural masterpiece sited on the imposing Mokola Hill, next door to Agodi Gardens and Premier Hotel Ibadan. The only one of such constructed along side the National Theatre in 1977 to complement the historical hosting of the Black Festival of Arts and Culture tagged FESTAC 77.
In its blueprint, the government is proposing the rehabilitation of the main theatre, a multi-purpose auditorium with a seating capacity for 1,500 persons, musical rehearsal hall, with a seating capacity of 500; Cinema hall with a seating capacity of 250; Open space Tarmac) that can accommodate about 1000cars, also suitable for social activities; a spacious foyer for permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Other proposed facilities are the open theatre stages to be set up on the two available open spaces for drama; rehabilitation of crafts village, which has seven huts (mini-workshops); rehabilitation of the exterior of the complex; wall fencing and landscaping; management of the Halls and open space as well as development of a Museum and Hall of Fame.
Investors and partners are also sought for the Ironsi-Fajuyi Memorial Park and Gardens, Lalupon, where Nigeria’s former Military Head of State General Aguiyi Ironsi was killed in the company of his host and former Governor of Western Nigeria, Lieutenant Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi on July 15, 1966.
The site spots the bullet ridden and bloodied tree that reminds us of Nigeria’s first Military coup. The vision of the Oyo State Government is to develop the acquired two plots of land into a National Historic monument with statues of Major General Aguiyi-Ironsi and Lt Colonel Fajuyi. The project includes well-groomed garden sitting area; restaurant /bar; games area; administrative office; cinema/video room (50 seater).