Land Investing – What Kind Of Land Is It Safe To Buy? What land should I invest in? Land investment advice – What to look for when buying land to build on. Land Title documents in Nigeria.
Lands are divided into three categories based on their status.
- Free lands
- Committed lands
- Lands under global acquisition or general acquisition
Before I discuss this three classes of land I have to first discuss the land use Act because you need to understand that first for some of what I will say next to make sense to you.
In 1978 the land use Act was enacted and it says that all lands in a state belongs to the government of the state. Meaning all lands in a state are under the custody of the state government.
It means if you had a piece of land before 1978 it doesn’t belong to you anymore, it now belongs to the state government. And if you want to use the Land for anything you have to apply to the state government to make use of that land.
Now that that is out of the way, let’s look at these three classes of Lands.
3 Classes of Land in Nigeria and which should you Invest in?
Free Lands: Free Lands are lands that are free to invest in. They are free for individuals to invest in and 100% safe to invest in. It’s easy to perfect your Title once you have bought the land.
Committed Lands: Committed lands are lands that are under acquisition by the government. They are under committed acquisition by the government. That is the government has committed them for a purpose. They may have decided to build a school, hospital, construct road, railway etc on that land. So they have a Need for that land. So if you invest your money in that land your money is gone!
When you hear of people who bought lands and the government came years later to demolish their houses or mark X on their houses and send them out, it is because the owners bought lands that were committed without knowing that the lands were committed.
These problems usually come up when you buy lands from an Omonile without doing your due diligence. Normally when you want to buy a land you should find out the status of the land. Go to land registry, check the title document on that land. Take the survey and go to a surveyor general’s office and find out if that land is free or committed and safe to invest in.
Again if you make payment for a committed land your money is as good as gone.
Lands under global acquisition: Remember I talked about the land use Act at the beginning of this? I said in 1978 the land use Act was enacted and it says that all lands in a state are under acquisition by the government until deemed free or committed. So what happens is for instance a family owns 5 hectares of land and they intend to use it for something, what they do is apply to the government saying that they need a portion of the land in that area. The government now comes to the area to find out if the place is committed. If the land is not under a committed area then it can be released to them.
But what the government does is they take the part that they need for something and that place becomes committed. Any other part is now under what we call global acquisition. These other parts that are now under global acquisition are now lands that can be released.
Take for instance Lekki Free Trade Zone axis. The Lekki Free Trade Zone itself is under committed acquisition. Some other parts are now under global acquisition. These places can be released to individuals through a process called Excision or Ratification. So a land that is under global acquisition can be safe to invest in, provided you know that this land will be released through a process called Excision or Ratification.
In a nutshell, lands are either free, committed or under global acquisition. Let’s remove the committed lands out of it because if it is a committed land do not ever think about putting your money into such lands because your money will just go down the drain. If it is free it is 100% safe to invest in. If it is under global or general acquisition it can be safe to invest in but my advice to you is before you make a land transaction, before you make a financial commitment on a land do your due diligence. Get the Title document. Find out if the Title is valid. Go to the land registry and do that and get the survey plan and let the surveyor chart the coordinates for you so that you can confirm that the land is not committed because once you put your money and you end up finding out that the land is committed I’m sorry but your money is gone.
I hope you found this helpful. Now you know which lands are safe to buy and which are not. Do put the information to good use.
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