How Nigeria, South Africa diplomatic row stalled Osun city project

Four years after the Living Spring Business City (LSBC) Project in Osun State was abandoned, the developer last week, revealed that the diplomatic row between South Africa and Nigeria grounded progress of work.

The initiator of the project, Dr. Kehinde Abiola, told The Guardian in Lagos that the South Africa financiers were considering the environment unsafe, hence the partnership was stopped. The period, 2018/2019 was the height of xenophobic attacks between Nigeria and South Africa, which led to a spike in tension on both sides with mobs attacking foreign-owned businesses.

The Living Spring Business City was planned as a mix of international market and residential estates, with different types of models all functioning on a major national transit route centrally located in popular Ibadan-Ife-Abuja highway, Osun State, close to Oduduwa University.

The project occupies 38-hectares of land, comprising 1,128 suites, shops and 228 apartments. The planned delivery date for phase I was slated for 2018 while Phase (II) was slated for 2019.

It was to serve as a strategic investment opportunity for investors, business owners and boasts of one commercial bank, three health centres, five eateries/restaurants, seven sporting facilities, two event centres, six police stations, 24-hours electricity, four educational centres, eight community halls, transit trailer parks for goods, corporate inter-state transport water facilities, nine large parking areas, filling stations, green areas as well as childcare centre.

Abiola said, “We spent more than N8 million on that project for the preparatory phase. By the time row settled down, the economy of the world went into recession and coming out of the recession, most of the financial houses could not make it back.”

He added, “I was to champion the preparatory works but the counterpart funding that refused to come, to fund the main project, affected the project. But we are not seriously giving up on the project.”

LSBC Project Manager, Mr. Richard Bamiduro, had earlier explained that the total land area, which is provided by the Osun State Property Development Corporation is about 38-hectares, noting that it also comes with a Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) and a letter of allocation.

He said, “Our plan was to build 25 per cent of the total market store at Phase (one) and as the demand increases, we hope to keep expanding. We had already mapped out our prices, which would be very affordable compared to any market in the country.”


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