Litigation, Insights

Procedure for the Registration of Title to Land in Nigeria

Ownership and transfer of land is the gamut of the real estate sector in Nigeria. The real estate sector in Nigeria is one of the most thriving industries in the country and although the circumstances and peculiarity of each land or property transaction vary, what will be found is that individuals, corporations, and investors tend to acquire land which they hope becomes an invaluable asset either short term or long term. Indeed, owning landed property in any part of the world is a worthwhile investment.

In Nigeria, the state governments by the provisions of the Land Use Act 1978 hold all lands within the territory of their states through the state governor and on behalf of 1 the people as a trustee. Consequently, for any person to own land in Nigeria, there must be a document that serves as evidence or proof of ownership of the land. This document can be in various forms like a statutory or customary right of occupancy, Deed of Assent (made under a grant of probate or letters of administration over an estate) amongst others. Ultimately, a landowner in Nigeria is required to register or lodge/perfect his interest in the said land at the relevant state lands bureau registry.

This is a statutory requirement as transactions over lands may be rendered inchoate for non-compliance with the statutory provisions for the registration of title to land. This process of registering one’s interest in land in Nigeria is commonly referred to as the “perfection process” and this article seeks to examine the procedure for the perfection of title to land in Nigeria using Lagos State as a case study…

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