A new city, called Valor City, is being constructed in Oriire Local Government Area of Oyo State.
The city, according to the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hastom Group, Debo Olushola Thomas, will serve as a human development city for Nigerians, especially the youths.
Adresssing a press conference at University of Ibadan on Tuesday, Thomas said the construction of the city is based on these three pillars- reimagined education, sports development and tourism.
Thomas said although things are currently tough in Nigeria, but if people are given the right opportunity, things will change for them and the country.
According to him, “I believe you don’t have to be in politics to do that. What I do has to be something I have control over and that is the reason for Valor City.”
He continued: “One way to solve our political and economic problem is through reimagined education. Using our strength as a nation, with our large number of youths to drive our economy. If youths have the right education, exposure , they can do a whole lot of stuff.
“I have been dreaming of having a human development city where I can be teaching people how to succeeed. A place where people can raise their game and have global mindset. The location of Valor City have the capacity to come alive and accommodate between 80,000 and 100,000 people as residents and visitors.
“It is not until we do big things, it is when we can touch thousands of people and their products become what Nigeria exports.”
Thomas, who narrated his experience with talented people, said sports can be a liberator from poverty for Nigerian youths.
He said a creative person can make a place come alive, adding that sports is bigger than a whole lot of industries.
“I play golf; whenever I am playing golf, I have been meeting nice and wonderful golfers. Golfers that can play like Tiger Wood. I am not exaggerating, I have seen them play and I have watched Tiger Wood play on the television and online. These guys can play but what saddens me is that anytime I play with them, they will come to me and say, ‘chief, find something for us now.’ Sometimes, I have to give them N2000 to appreciate them for playing. I have been seeing that everywhere. I was in MicCom golf course, Ada, Osun State, and I saw people from that village. They don’t live in Osogbo, they live in that village, wonderful golfers but very poor. How come people have this kind of skill and this skill is not fetching them any economic reward. When I was thinking of solutions on how to make these golfers rich, I saw that sports can be a liberator for our people.
“They said our youths shoudn’t do yahoo yahoo. It’s bad, it tarnishes the image of our country. Why is yahoo yahoo the first thing the youths think of? Because it is the only thing they see that can take them out of poverty, no other alternatives. A guy that is talented in lawn tennis, but he doesn’t even know he has the talent because there is no lawn tennis court 50km to his area. The guy you say he is a tout that is always boxing people everywhere, can’t we just make him a boxer?
“We don’t really need a political office to make impact, with the help I have received, this is how I can give back. So, Valor City is going to be a sports development city. We will develop sports like football, lawn tennis, swimming, basketball, gymnastics, track and field amongst others. We are not going to develop people alone, we are going to promote the sports through competition. We will be organising competition. I believe everybody does not have to go to Lagos, money is everywhere, we can bring people. We are starting the foundation of our football academy next year and it is going to be the biggest in the country because we are not going to have nothing less than 15 football fields for training and we are partnering with foreign clubs, mostly from Europe. It is one thong to develop people, it is another thing to promote them, give them the exposure they need,” the CEO said.
Thomas said that Valor City will have schools including information technology and vocational training schools that would be affiliated to the best universities in the world, adding that 400 acres of land have been earmarked for education alone within the city.
“It is not like normal school because we are not waiting on NUC for accreditation.
“Highest we will do is we will be affiliating ourselves with the best universities in the world for affiliate courses. The rest would be like tech-based , vocational training, so that people can learn handwork in a way that they can compete with the rest of the world,” he noted.
He further stated that the city will have a supermarket, Nollywood village and residential area, stressing that the vision behind Valor City is not to compete with any industry, but to complement every industry.
“People will always go to where value is and we envisaged that there is going to be a whiole new community of people. As we are progressing, we have to control the aesthetics of this community we are going to operate. That is why we are meticulous in our planning of the city. The masterplan is ready and we have intention of selling some residential and business parts to people that can see the futute that we see,” Thomas said.
Valor City will be sited on 2,100 acres of land and is located 30 miles from Ilorin International Airport. The city is also 25 minutes drive from Ogbomoso town and the electricity supply would be solar powered.