How To Buy & Register A Land In Nigeria: All You Need To Know

Everyday thousands of Nigerians fall victim to dubious land agents
and resellers,this is because  an average Nigerian doesn't know the intricacies and pitfalls involved in buying a piece of land. 

Buying a land in Nigeria is not as easy as walking into a shopping mall to buy whatever you want,buying a land is actually a slightly complex process that must be carefully followed up. 
This post contains quick and simplified information on what you must know before buying and registering a land in Nigeria,also how to know if a land is genuine,procedure for registration of land,land registration act,cost of land survey in Nigeria Etc

I have also simplified and summarized some of the legal jagons and boring long talks so that you can quickly catch the drift. 

How To Buy & Register A Land In Nigeria

Check out the following simplified quick facts you should  know before buying a land in Nigeria:

1. Physical Presence

If you want anything to be done properly well,then it should be done by you. If you want to buy a land in Nigeria,it's always safer and better that you carry out all the transactions by yourself to avoid stories that touch from relatives and family members. 

Also you will be able to see the condition of the plot of land that you are planning to buy,a land located in a swampy area or encroached by erosion should be avoided,unless you have the money to reclaim the land. 

Also consider factors such as the neighborhood, light and water issues, road leading to your land Etc before indicating serious interest in any plot of land.

2. Budget

Don't ever make the mistake of buying a plot of land if you don't have enough money.

Make sure that you have enough money before you initiate any land purchase transaction,also know that you will need the help of some legal practitioners,agencies,surveyors Etc that will incur some extra charges.

The legal fees is 5% of the cost of the land,Agency Fees- 5% of the cost of the land,survey plan is about N100k - 250K,plus other miscellaneous expenses such as signing of documents,governors consent,ratification fees,survey land information,C of O Etc.

3. Genuine Seller

The next step is for you to find a genuine seller,there are a couple of genuine land agent companies that buy and resell plots of lands in Nigeria,you can research and buy your plot of land from them,this will save you a lot of stress,although their services might be pricey,but at least you will have peace of mind. 

4. Verification Of Documents 

According to the Land Use Act of 1978, all land in the state is to be held in trust by the State Governor for the benefit of all Nigerians,before you pay for any land in Nigeria,it's imperative that you verify all the documents presented to you by the seller or the agency that you want to buy the land from,do not accept any flimsy excuse,make sure you are presented with copies of the following documents:  
Receipts,Deed of assignment,Approved survey plan,Power of Attorney,Certificate of Occupancy (C of O),Gazette,Letter of Allocation Etc

Verification and proper investigation will help you to decipher if the land is subject to any communal or legal dispute or even under the custody of the government. 

Read Also: How To Check Your BVN From Your Mobile Phone  

5. Payment For The Plot Of Land

After you must have successfully investigated that the seller/vendor of the land is indeed the owner of the land,and also ascertained that the land is free from any dispute,the next step is the preparation of a Deed of Assignment/Conveyance by the both parties.

This is the part where you will be needing the services of a good lawyer,your lawyer will process the deed of assignment,the both parties will sign in the presence of their witnesses,after this you will now pay the money for the land,make sure this is done in a bank,do not give cash to anyone.

After making payment for the land the seller or vendor will hand over all original land documents to you. 

Also make sure that the Deed of Assignment is to be accompanied with the Survey Plan,these will be needed for the perfection of title.

The deed of assignment is also expected to contain a consent section for the governor of the state. 

Most importantly make sure you have your Receipt, Deed of Assignment and a Survey Plan after making payment for your land. 

6. Settle All Debts

If you bought a land located in a community that requires you to settle the community elders and chiefs,make sure you do these,however I strongly suggest that you stay away from buying any community or village land,in the future multiple families might spring to contest the ownership of the land.

Read Also: How To Get Your Tax Identification Number In Nigeria 

7. Hire Professionals

Apart from playing your own part,you will also be needing the services of a good professional lawyer,a surveyor and an Architect.

Your lawyer will draw up your contract papers legally,a registered surveyor will draw up your survey plans and an architect will advise you on the type of fence \ house you are to build and the estimated cost of doing such.

8. Fence Your Land

After making payment for your land make sure that you fence the land immediately,you must not necessarily raise a high  fence,just 3 coaches and a small gate is enough. 
This will discourage land encroaching.

Afterwards,go ahead to start the process of registration. 
9. Legal Protection

After making payment for your land,do not relax and think all is well,it's important that you legally safe guard your land from land grabbers,you have to go ahead and apply for Governor’s consent, payment of stamp duties,registration of conveyance or assignment at the Lands Registry.

This will help to protect the legal validity of your purchased land. 

10. Land Applications

Before applying for consent,make sure that the seller/vendor of your plot of land signs the application letter for consent for the governor of your state, in other to apply for Governor’s consent you will need the following: 
  • Purchaser/Grantee’s tax clearance certificate and development levy receipt
  • Completed form 1c
  • 4 executed Deed of Assignment
  • 4 Chartable survey plans
  • Dated letter of application with address and telephone numbers
  • Building plan and photograph of property
  • Certified true copy of grantor’s title document
  • Vendor/Grantor’s tax clearance certificate and development levy receipt
  • Evidence of payment for charting, endorsement and form 1c
  • Affidavit in lieu of Tenement rate (In case of an undeveloped land)
These requirements might vary depending on your state,however in most cases,they are the same,the application letter and documents listed above are to be submitted at the land registry of the state where you bought the land.

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The status of the land will be investigated through charting at the Surveyor General’s Office after which the land will be assessed to determine the amount to be paid at the designated bank.

The fees to be paid include: assessment fee, registration fee, consent fee, charting fee, stamp duty, capital gains tax Etc.

After making payment you will be required to forward the treasury receipts of payment of fees to the registry. 

The documents you submitted shall then be approved and stamped within 30 days. 

Also make sure that you register the Deed of Assignment issued to you by the seller/vendor. 

11. Certificate Of Occupancy (C of O)

After you must have gotten the Governor’s consent and registered the Deed of Assignment all you have to do is to proceed to obtain your Certificate of Occupancy (C of O). 

You will need to attached some documents,some requirements might vary depending on the state.

You have to submit an Application Letter addressed to the Executive Secretary – Land Use and Allocation Committee (Lands Registry).
Attach the following documents: 

  • 4 Passport Photographs with white background.
  • 4 original Survey Plan (2 cloth copy and 2 paper copy).
  • Land Information Certificate with receipt.
  • Vital Information Form for Certificate of Occupancy with receipt.
  • Completed Certificate of Occupancy Form with receipt.
  • Sketch Map of the Site Location. 
  • Evidence of payment of Income Tax.
  • Purchase Receipt Duly Stamped.
  • Current Development Levy.
  • Capital Contribution Fee.
  • Publication Fee. 
  • Compilation of applicants names for publication,title search for previous registration and site inspection. 
  • Certificate of Occupancy Engrossment. 
  • Recommendation for execution of C of O (by E.S. LUAC, SSA LANDS & P.S. Lands).
  • Execution of Certificate of Occupancy (by His Excellency).
  • Stamp Duty by Commissioner for Stamp Duties.
  • Registration of Certificate of Occupancy (by Lands Registry).
  • Collection of executed and registered Certificate of Occupancy

Once this is done,you will be issued your C of O,you can be rest assured that you now have a solid claim to your land,you should also know that these process takes a long time,that's why you should thread carefully when buying a land. 

The process of safely buying and registering a land in Nigeria was explained as simply as possible.

If you have any question,you can ask in the comment section below.