Why Celebrities, Foreign tourists Troop to Ned Nwoko’s 15Billion Naira Delta Mansion
Ensconced along the newly constructed Asaba- Umunede Road, precisely a few kilometers from his own village, Udumuje-Ugboko is Prince Ned Nwoko’s palatial mansion. Anyone driving through that road cannot but wonder what that sought of edifice was doing in that part of the world, located not in a city. It does not only stand out but commands attention. No wonder, the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation decided to mark the edifice as one of the tourist centres in the state.
From the imposing gate which is more of an aesthetic beauty than a gate in its real sense, to the fence, which in a way tells you of what is inside, a visitor would easily know that the house is not an ordinary one. Virtually all the exterior is dorn in red bricks and sand depicting the ancient colour of buildings in the Arabian peninsular as well as parts of Africa. Curiously, all through the time of our visit, the gates were never shut.
Visitors from all walks of life trooped in and out, they came in their droves, top Nollywood actors and actresses, musicians local and international and of course politicians. Foreigners were not left out. Among those who have come around are tourists from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Germany, Tanzania to mention a few. Obviously Ned Nwoko who once represented his Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives had been on this for some time. According to sources, he started conceiving the idea around 1999 but execution started around 2003.
Investigations have revealed that the space where the resort is standing is 1000 feet above sea level which makes the highest point in the whole of Delta State, hence the state Government decided to name it a Mount. Inside the resort is a magnificent storey building where the owner of the resort, Prince Ned Nwoko uses as his place of abode. Indeed, the one storey building is a fabulous display of Arabian architecture, which makes the building one of the best, if not the best in the entire country. The wonderful thing about the decorations in this house is that most of the accessories in the building were done with hands by architects from Morocco and Italy. The designs were done by hand so they are painstakingly done and obviously on a class of their own.
The imposing mansion as well as the adjoining gardens occupy about five hectares. The gardens include an orchard which is right in front and located adjacent the driveway into the house. Inside the orchards are fruits such as pawpaw, guava, mango, cashew, palm trees , apple, lemon, to mention a few. Most of them are at fruiting stage and guests are free to pluck and eat. Virtually everything that is eaten in the Reosrt is sourced from within, from fresh fish coming from over 50,000 fish in his ponds to chicken from his massive poultry as well as yam barns. Palm wine, palm oil eggs as well as other things are all locally sourced. No wonder, a visiting foreign guest described the resort as a garden of Eden in Nigeria.
Apart from this, there is also the mini-zoo that houses some animals ranging from Porcupines to Ostriches, Quail Birds , Ostricts, Crocodiles, Crannies and Geese and many others. Curiously, they are all well fed and taken care of and live in peace despite some of them being wild.
That is not all. There are sports facilities including lawn tennis court, football field, swimming pool, facilities for table tennis as well as other games within the resort. Putting a total cost to the whole project may not be easy but in his own words, Prince Ned Nwoko confided in confidants that the whole structure as it is costs about 15 Billion Naira with the dome at the centre of the sitting room costing about 4 million Dollars.
Many of the local and foreign tourists who visit the place not just marvel at the Arabian edifice but also the serene environment devoid of noise as well as located within the touch of nature. With a staff strength of over forty people doing continuous maintenance and taking care of the needs of visitors under the supervision of two Caucasian managers, the property, named Mount Ned Nwoko Resort is definitely one place visitors would like to visit more than once.