View Full Version : Protocols for Land Purchasing and Verification, Please

Feb 3, 2009, 05:22 PM
Is there anyone out there enlightened, willing and public spirited enough to outline what it takes to legally purchase or verify land in Nigeria?

With all the accusations, rumors, innuendo, speculation and comments being made, I realise there is nowhere on any Nigerian public forum where hard facts of the process is readily available.

If this was available and clarified then a lot of issues would be clear.

If I wish to buy land, build, mortgage or even rent in the UK there are transparent processes and lots of information and services for this.

I also noticed from some postings and comments that even basic universal Western property protocols and processes are not understood by those that should know better in Nigeria. It is the reason why simple change of address information can be misconstrued and abused.

The impression I get from this Community site and others is that currently it is a murky and treacherous quagmire that can be a mine field to navigate.

So even at the end of the process the land or property may not even be yours.

I implore any with the wisdom to unravel this to please share it with the rest of us.

Thanking you in advance.

Jul 7, 2009, 07:22 AM
Is there anyone out there enlightened, willing and public spirited enough to outline what it takes to legally purchase or verify land in Nigeria?

The best institutions in Nigeria to verify and ensure that landed properties are acquired and built legally are the Ministries of Lands and Survey, Urban Planning and from our Learnt Friends.
Unfortunately, these ministries have failed us woefully as it allows torts and bad eggs amongst them to circumvent due processes. Most annoying is that of Our Learnt Friends who allows long winded cases and vehemently and negatively stand for cases that even a dummy knows has traces of fraud.
We are therefore left with our faith as follows:
1. Buy from known, trusted friends, relatives or related individuals with long standing track records - not from roadside adverts.
2. Get reciept of purchase. Follow-up immediately with deeds of conveyance
3. You may also cause the purchase be recorded electronically
4. Follow Number 1 up briskly with genuine surveys and approved/registered plans
5. Apply and pursue for a Certificate of Occupancy
6. Start to build - first with fence and foundation of the main structure
7. Ah.........don't stop there, anything can still happen O!

Jul 7, 2009, 12:35 PM
Result of the Outcome of the Land Use Act and The Families and How it Affects you in buying a Land in Lagos:

1. Government was still the owner of all the lands but it will excise some lands to the traditional family. This excised lands means they are free from Government acquisition in future and the traditional Families have total control over the sale of those lands. Lands that the government has plans to develop in future such as the Eko Atlantic City, Lands where the Government intends to create Bridges, Pass Pipeline or Power lines etc will be acquired in advance and will not be suitable for sale because they have plans to use those places. So because of that, they call places like that Under Government Acquisition.

2. In return, the Government will publish a gazette from time to time showing which lands have been excised and given to the family and community and which ones are under government Acquisition.

3. These Lands that are free from Acquisition gives the family the right to sell these lands to who whatso ever but with a clause. They are to issue the buyer a proof of family receipt directly from the family and sign the Form 1c. The Form 1c is a document a property owner who intends to sell his property to another person must have and be signed by the family unless the government will never recognize that a sale has taken place and can acquire it at anytime because they is no proof at the land registry that such a person has come to register it.

4. With this arrangement, the family and the government is happy because they will get their money for the sale of the land and for signing the documents and the government is happy too because you will have to come and perfect your title.

Now with this small History, you now see why it is important to know the family selling to you and the kind of receipt they are going to give you.
Every good thing surely has bad influences around, thats where the Omonile Factor comes in. Because people don't do diligence and know who to investigate who and who is a member of the original family, they resort to doing business with crooks who claim to be the representatives of the family and they end up giving them money and the omoniles issue them fake and unsubstantiated receipts and when they get to the land registry, it will show that the receipt is fake and has no standing to perfect the title and to trace the omonile and money back is a major problem.

The due diligence in scouting for the family is one of the most difficult things to do on the planet and the lawyer doing it for you must have spare time on his hands to devote that time to you. Before a receipt or land document is declared to be valid, the HEAD OF THE FAMILY AND SECRETARY of the family must sign it. One cannot sign in the absence of another for it to be valid. They have to be the true members of the family before they can issue you a recipet.

Also the some families who had 100s of Hectares of Land went to the governor to ask for their lands to be excised and gazetted. While the governor might take 20 hectares of Land from them and leave 80 hectares (An Acre is 6 plots and a Hectare is 16 plots) for the family, the governor might decide to help them perfect their documents at once and issue them one C/O covering the whole 80 Hectares of Land. So anybody buying within that 80 Hectares automatically has a C/O in his name and the recipet from the original family members they could be up to 20 signatories depending on the area and number of families that the C/O covers and the deed of assignment signed by them and the Form 1c. If one signatory is missing, there is no valid transfer to possession of the land. (They are that strict).
So now that you know the basics of the family these are the steps to take before buying a Land in Lagos:

Step 1 You have to first and fore most discover who the family is, know who is who, determine if the place already has a global c/o (Which in my own opinion is usually the best lands to buy), get them to agree to sign the form 1c, deed of assignment and recipet, agree on the price apart from the price of buying the land for the family to sign the recipet and form 1 c and move to step 2.

Step 2 involves doing a search at the land registry to discover whether the survey plan and the other documents tally and are not under government acquisition.(Very Important Unless Omo-Onile will eat you raw here!)

Step 3 involves confirming it is free and negotiating the last price for the property and the signing of the documents.

Step 4 Involves getting the surveyor (Better an Alausa Surveyor in my own opinion) to come and survey the place and map it out to do your survey in your own name. It usually Costs between N120,000-N120,000 for the survey plans. No pricing. The price is fixed except your son is a surveyor in Alausa. In return your entitled to 7 copies of the survey plan and six will be returned to you. 2 in cloth copy and 4 in paper form while the last one will be lodged at the Land registry and charted. This copy is known as the red copy and you cannot perfect your documents without that red copy in Alausa. If you haven't done it and it has no record there, to do the charting will costs you some heavy money. So its better to do it once and for all using a certified professional.

After that, the Surveyor must come to the land in question and place the beacons around the 4 corners of the land. Those beacons show that the corners of your land and measurement and nobody on this planet can lay claim to it except you.

5. Step Involves drafting of the deed of assignment, purchase recipet and purchase agreement for the families to sign and the form 1c.
Step 6. When the families have finished signing all the documents in exchange for the fees they demanded then your the proud owner of a land in lagos after they have been handed over to you.

Step 7: You now deal with when and how you are ready to perfect your title by either doing the c/o or governor's consent to know which one is applicable.

The best way to acquire landed property in Nigeria is to buy from the government. Go to your Ministry of Lands and pay all required fees including jara's for workers who will move your papers around. Get you all you need including tax clearance, you can get your C of O within 3 months.

Jul 8, 2009, 09:26 AM
I surport what Murphy said. It's better to buy land from the Governement directly.
All those omo onile is 419.........I have a first hand experience and it wasn't palatable.
There are even some lands that are being sold by Lagos state complete with C of O.

Jul 16, 2009, 11:29 AM
Step 7: You now deal with when and how you are ready to perfect your title by either doing the c/o or governor's consent to know which one is applicable.

Great insights there Murphy. The above qouted area is where I am more interested in:

In what scenario does one need a Governor's concsent (GC)? Are they necessary if there is a valid Sales reciept and Deed of Conveyancy on a property that is already validated by an existing C-of-O (In the name of the previous owner).

Does the abscence of a GC limit the legal claim to ownership of such properties on the part of the new owner?



Sep 9, 2009, 11:08 PM

Ah, this is rather late..

But sha, if you or anyone else still needs advice,

How about contakting Uncle Ruby at The Guardian. :confused: