Understanding Land Documents In Nigeria

Land Classification

Land can be classified as either free or acquired. A parcel of land is considered free if the government has not indicated any interest whatsoever in that land. Such land is safe to buy because the title on the land can be perfected without issues.

In most cases, such lands will either have a gazette, a C of O or a governor’s consent.


An Excision means basically taking a part from a whole and that part that has been excised will be recorded and documented in the official government gazette of that state. In other words, not having an excision means the land could be seized by the Government anytime without compensating you even if you bought it “Legitimately” from the Baale or the Original dwellers on the land.

Global or General Acquisition

Lands that are under “general acquisition” or “global acquisition” can later be confirmed ‘free’ or ‘committed’ as the case may be.

A land under general acquisition can become free by a process called excision.

There are two types of acquisition:

  1. Committed Acquisition
  2. Global / General Acquisition.

Committed Acquisition

A parcel of land is said to be under committed acquisition when the government has indicated an intention to use that land for a specific purpose such as provision of amenities.

Such lands belong to the government and can never be available for use by individuals. If you purchase land that is under committed acquisition, it will be impossible for you to perfect your land title and you’ll only be occupying the land until the government comes to kick you out.

The following documents are usually involved when a purchase is made.


1 The purchase receipt

2 The contract of sale and

3 The deed of assignment

4 The survey plan

5 The Building plan for housing investment

6 Any other title document that may apply



Land title may be defined as *the rights or ownership claim a person has over a property. It simply means, for you to claim land title, you must show other people the right you have over that land. E.g the land was willed to you by your late grandfather or you bought the property from another person and he handed over the title documents of the land or there was a dispute on the land and a court judgement awarded you the land as the owner etc.

To determine what title a person has over a property, a prospective buyer must inspect the available documents the seller is relying on to initiate the transaction.


Deed of Conveyance or Registered Conveyance was the authentic evidence of ownership until 1978 Land use Act that introduced Certificate of Occupancy.

Deed of Conveyance is old legal document used in transferring the interest of the owner of a landed property interest to the person to another whom it is assigned, the assignee. When ownership is transferred, the new legal document in use now is called deed of assignment.

A freehold is not a title. The remedy is to institute a legal document on the land like getting a Governors Consent, or C of O. (These are binding documents that can stand the test of time and stand in any court of law)


In a situation you have the C of O and survey without Deed of Assignment for a land allocated by state government. Is the documents enough without Deed of Assignment?

Answer: Government schemes mostly doesn’t come with Deed of Assignment. What government gives in this case is Letter of Allocation and through the letter of assessment you obtained from the NTDA you can process your C of O.

Question: Does this mean that “Lands have to at least be excised before it can be sold or transferred to someone else”?

Answer: You become rightful owner of the land once the government release it to you via excision.

Though Governments recognize ancestral land ownership as excision is the right of the indigenous land owners.


A Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) issued by the Lagos State Government officially leased Lagos land to you, the applicant, for 99 yrs. All lands belong to the Government.


Buying a Government barred land is risky. Government bars you from owning land it has acquired to build infrastructures such as airports, roads etc. Learn how to avoid buying a Government barred Land.

KNOW  THE DIFFERENCE Between Rectification and Ratification

 Don’t be confused. Rectification and Ratification means two separate things but they sound alike. Rectification means to correct a grave error on a document while Ratification means giving formal consent to a contract or agreement thereby making it validly official.

To understand how Rectification of Title to Land differs from Ratification of Title to land, we have to understand what a Land title means so we can comprehend it quite easily.


Is excision as good as obtaining c of o?

Is a person having excision still mandated to obtain c of o?

Answer: After a land has been excised and Gazetted then you can either process your C of O or Governor consent.

Excision does not expire while C of O expire after 99 years. The only advantage C of O has over Excision is that it can be used as collateral for getting loan in the bank


A governor’s consent can only be processed on a land with either Gazette or an Existing Certificate of Occupancy (C of O).

If a person with land with C of O decides to sell his land, the only documents that can give the new buyer or every other subsequent buyer’s the right of occupancy or ownership is a governor’s consent.

The powers of the Governor to consent to such transactions can be found in Section 22 of the Land Use Act of 1978 which states thus ‘It shall not be lawful for the holder of a statutory right of occupancy granted by the governor to alienate his right of occupancy or any part thereof by assignment, mortgage, transfer of possession, sublease or otherwise howsoever without the consent of the Governor first had and obtained” This simply means therefore that even when a buyer has secured a land with a Certificate of Occupancy, he shouldn’t stop there.

He needs to begin the process of obtaining a Governor’s consent to make that purchase legal in the eyes of the government and be rest assured his land is safe.


A Survey plan is a document that measures the boundary of a parcel of land to give an accurate measurement and description of that land. The people that handle survey issues are Surveyors and they are regulated by the office of the Surveyor general in Lagos as it relates to survey issues in Lagos. A survey plan must contain the following information:


  1. The name of the owner of the land surveyed
  2. The Address or description of the land surveyed
  3. The size of the land surveyed
  4. The drawn out portion of the land survey and mapped out on the survey plan document
  5. The beacon numbers
  6. The surveyor who drew up the survey plan and the date it was drawn up
  7. A stamp showing the land is either free from Government acquisition or not


A Gazette is an Official record book where all special government details are spelt out, detailed and recorded

A gazette will show the communities or villages that have been granted excision and the number of acres or hectares of land that the government has given to them. It is within those excised acres or hectares that the traditional family is entitled to sell its lands to the public and not anything outside those hectares of land given or excised to them.


Most people have the title documents to their cars intact and in safe places but fail to ask for the Deed of assignment to their properties which is several times more valuable than cars

A Deed of assignment is one of the transnational documents drawn up by a real estate attorney between the current title holder for a particular property and the new buyer.

In real property transactions, a deed of assignment is a legal document that transfers the interest of the owner of that interest to the person to whom it is assigned, the assignee. When ownership is transferred, the deed of assignment shows the new legal owner of the property.

The deed contains very pertinent information for a real estate transaction. It spells out the date when the ownership of the property transfers from one owner to the other. The deed also gives a specific description of the property that is included in the transfer of ownership.

It is very compulsory and mandatory for a Deed of Assignment document to be recorded at the appropriate land registry to show legal evidence as to the exchange of ownership in any land/landed property transaction in order to make the general public and government aware of such exchange or transaction.


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Product Of The Day

Gracias Emerald Estate, Abijo

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Amity Estate
Caleb British International School
Abijo GRA
Corona International Schools
Greensprings Schools
Lufasi Park
Novare Mall ShopRite
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Gracias Moonstone, Affordable Luxury

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Rehoboth Estate
Dangote Refinery Complex
Power Oil Industry
Kellogg International Ltd
Lekki Deep Sea Port
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LaCampaigne Tropicana Resort
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Several Upcoming Estates
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CCTV Cameras
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Well Planned Paved Roads & Drainages
Facility Management
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DPKAY Estate Sangotedo

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Good title
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Emperor Estate
Crown Estate
Novare Mall, ShopRite (Sangotedo) – The largest shopping mall in Lagos.
The Monastery, Sangotedo: The Catholic Monastery.
The Lagos Business School, Sangotedo & Pan Atlantic University.
Lagos Homes, Sangotedo.
Grenadines Estate, Sangotedo.
Flourish Residences Estate
Oluwa-ni-n-sola Estate, Chevron, Lekki, Lagos – The largest private Estate in Lagos.
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Promo: *N17m*
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Good road network
Gated and secure Environment
Sports corridors
Shopping Centres
Street lights
Potable Water
Perimeter fencing
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Beachwood Estate
Greenspring Group of Schools
Omu resort
Bogije police station
Merrigold resort
Lekki hotel and suites
Lakowe lake and resorts
Conoil filling station
Mayfair garden club
Meridian Park estate
Eko Akate Ocean Garden
Fara Park Estate
Novare mall
For more information :
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The Claridge 1

The Claridge 1, is a state of the art estate, designed to offer residents great life style, value and viable investment proposition. Located strategically on a dry flat expanse of land where nature and architectural ingenuity marry seamlessly, this ultra modern and highly secure estate, is a delight to any investor and lover of class.
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N15.5m for 600sqms
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8 Important Things To Know Before You Buy Nigerian Property

If you are considering buying property or land in Nigeria, there are some important things to know about the culture.

You can find all kinds of properties available for sale and for rent, but it’s tough to understand the smaller nuances of the culture without making a visit.

In this article, we’ll share a few important things to note before taking the leap to relocate your family to Nigeria. If you are only purchasing investment property, these are less important to know.

However, they can still be beneficial as you decide where you’re going to invest. Of course, this ultimately depends on your priorities (cost, schooling, climate, population, closeness to conveniences, facilities, etc).

Nigerian Neighborhoods

First, let’s break down the most popular neighborhoods, and why people choose to live there. Lagos is known for many things and is a true representation of Africa’s middle class. Most people are employed, have their own homes, families, hobbies, and there are countless things to do in the city.


Ikoyi is arguably the best place to live in Lagos.

Known to house the rich and wealthy, this city is the best place to be if you’re well off. The crime rate in Ikoyi is almost non-existent and the city doesn’t cut corners when it comes to security. Whether you are raising children or looking for a stable investment property, there are many good schools, Montessori schools, and universities in Ikoyi.

Further, The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Nigerian Government Presidential Secretariat and the Deputy-Governor of Lagos State all live in the city of Ikoyi, Lagos.

If there was a national emergency, this would likely be the safest retreat.

Ikoyi is a convenient place to do business, and many foreign travelers stop through this city. The only downside we can think of when it comes to this city is the frequent traffic gridlock.


Lekki is right by Victoria Island. Known for its upscale nightclubs, bars, malls, hotels, galleries, and cinemas, this one is a popular tourist destination. As a result, it is safer than many other cities in the world. Lekki has also got the best beaches you can visit in Lagos.

There are numerous thoughtfully arranged apartment complexes and every convenience you can imagine in a 1st world country. There are supermarkets, stores, eateries, and restaurants, as well as an Oriental Hotel, Baylounge, Hard Rock Café, and the Landmark Centre. This is where most of the reality TV shows shoot the live’s of the wealthy population of Nigeria.

Victoria Island

Just like Lekki and Ikoyi, Victoria Island (V.I) is also a great place to live or do business. With many corporate headquarters of big businesses in Lagos since 1995, Victoria Island has a notable elite population.

It is also the principal financial center of Lagos. There are many bank headquarters, making Victoria Island the smartest place to start a business in Lagos.


Ikeja is the capital of Lagos and one of the most populated cities.

Additionally, Ikeja is regarded as the center of business in Lagos. If you have an established business or ample capital to get your business off the ground, its not a bad idea to start here. Ikeja is a well planned, clean, and quiet residential community in Lagos.

It’s a short drive away from all the excitement of the city, without the gridlock traffic.

The most popular areas in Ikeja include:

  • Ojodu,
  • Opebi,
  • Akiode,
  • Alausa,
  • Agidingbi,
  • Magodo &
  • Maryland.


We love selling properties in Ajah!

It’s just gorgeous, and one of the best opportunities for generating a return on your investment.

Ajah is very close to one of the biggest market in Lagos, and it is also one of the most beautiful places in the entire country.

This city has security, and a thriving commercial environment.

There are many well-priced estates springing up in between Ajah and Lekki, making this entire region a great place to invest and live.

Garden City

This is a trendy neighborhood. Thus, there are several toll gates you have to make way through to get here. Victoria Garden City’s gated community is one of the newest neighborhoods in Lagos. Ultimately, this area is newly developed but really nice. If you want modern facilities, posh clubs, gyms, boutiques, schools, and recreation centers – this city has everything you need.

5 Important Things To Know

So without further delay, let’s talk about the environment and culture in Nigeria. You may already know some of these pointers, but nonetheless, they are the most important to consider when buying land or property.

Nigeria is hot.

Nigeria is hot and humid!

If you’re looking for sunshine all through the year, Nigeria is generally warm and inviting.

The weather varies from place to place, but it never snows. Additionally, the high humidity makes it feel much hotter than it actually is and many people have air-conditioners in their cars, houses, and offices to avoid the sticky sweatiness that comes with hot humid weather.

The country is lively & chaotic.

We want to make this clear so that you may avoid culture shock upon arriving to the bustling city of Lagos.

Remember, Nigeria is a developing country. You might recognize aspects of the country that remind you of the roughness of Delhi, New York, London, or Rio De Janeiro. Don’t be alarmed.

In many areas just outside the chaos of the city center, the roads are untarred, the buildings are simple, and the people lead quiet agricultural lives.

You might feel like there’s no order, as some places don’t even have stable electricity or portable water.

However, many locals have generators to provide their own electricity as well as their own water supply.

This is just cultural custom, and like many cultures, people do what has always worked for them. It may look like chaos when you see arbitrary police stops on the road, unclear instructions given by the government officials, and unstable electricity. However, there’s a formula to the chaos that works for the country and makes for ample opportunity to invest in a developing, extremely populated region.

Meats & Spices

In major cities like Lagos, Nigeria — you can find Indian, Japanese, American, French, Chinese, and even Ethiopian food.

There’s actually lots and lots of Chinese food.

But also prepare for lots of meats, starches, and very spicy Nigerian food.

Pretty much everything in Nigeria is flavorful and spicy (hot).

Many restaurants can adjust the pepper level of your meal to your liking, however. Nigerian food is a true representation of the culture, offering a medley of deep, earthy, and lively flavors. Most restaurants offer vegetarian, and even vegan menu options, however, it may be difficult to adhere to other dietary restrictions like oil allergies.

Public transportation is rough.

The public transport system does not work on a strict schedule and may be overcrowded.

For more comfortable options, you can take Uber or Taxify which work seamlessly in Nigeria just like many other countries.

Money vs Cards

Some cities prefer cashless transactions and accept bank cards. However, relying on debit/credit cards can be unreliable in smaller cities and rural areas. To be safe, always carry both methods of payment. Fortunately, ATMs are available throughout the country.

Religion is important.

Nigeria is a diverse community of many cultures, languages, etc. However, one in seven people are of Nigerian descent.

Even though the country is a secular state, half of the population identifies as Christian and the other majority identifies as Muslim.

Friend groups may intermix, but do not expect people to separate their religious activities from those of their work lives.

There is also a growing Hindu community and other religious sects. The country is also well decorated with churches and mosques, but as long as you too are tolerant, people won’t have a problem with you expressing your religious views.


As mentioned, the traffic comes with city life. Like New York City, give yourself ample time to get to your destination because large cities like Lagos are very, very busy.

Get Vaccinated

This isn’t usually an issue, but it can never hurt to take precautions that will keep you healthy.

The Nigerian climate, food, flora, and fauna has a different effect on everybody.

Tropical bugs or allergens are everywhere. It’s also very warm, and the food is very spicy – so your stomach may take time to adjust. Nigeria is not any more diseased than other countries, however, residents are typically more immune to certain illnesses than visitors and foreigners. It pays to plan ahead, and protect yourself from any common diseases people from your home country have become susceptible to in Nigeria.

Once you become a local, this won’t be an issue any longer.

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