Dennis Isong: All you Need to Know About Land Excision in Nigeria

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There has been a slew of real estate firms claiming to have land for sale in Lagos, particularly in the Ibeju-Lekki axis. Some of the lands they’re selling have legitimate titles, but the vast majority of them don’t, particularly those where they claim to be “processing excision”. They tell potential purchasers that excision has begun and that they already have a “file number” – which may not be true. Let’s discuss what the excision of land is in Nigeria.

What is Land Excision?

Land excision means that a part of land has been legally released to indigenous settlers by a government gazette and it’s termed to be excised. Also, this signifies that the land is no longer under government acquisition, thus C of O (Certificate of Occupancy) procedure is now possible.

The Land Use Act of 1978 states that all land belongs to the government, who may decide to release some of it to past proprietors with verified ownership records. This is why it is necessary to register usage with the appropriate level of government.

Classification of Land

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Land can be classified into two:

  • Free Land: This belongs to those that the government has no interest in. The government permits individuals, groups of individuals, organizations, and other entities to use this land. However, if you want to use free land, you’ll need to complete the papers till you receive a C of O title.
  • Acquired land: Acquired land refers to land in which the government is interested in. There’s also the general and committed acquisition. In general acquisition, the government has acquired the land but does not necessarily need it at this time. In committed acquisition, the government has resolved to use the land for a certain purpose.

How Can I Know an Excised Land?

Before purchasing any land, have a surveyor obtain a coordinate of the portion of the land for accurate research and findings. That’ll definitely save you from unnecessary challenges in the future.

What Are the Procedures to Getting Your Land Excised?

The process of acquiring excision on your property isn’t child’s play, it is time-consuming and costly but most importantly attainable. Here are the procedures to getting an excision in Nigeria.

  • The individual or group land excision application will be forwarded to the Lagos State Land Use Allocation Committee (LUAC) or your state (of origin) appointed committee for processing. The proposal would include data on the community’s historical past, population, principal occupation, perimeter census, excised location purpose, and rationale for excision.
  • The letter will be referred to the LUAC Technical Committee for further processing within 7 days of receipt.
  • After that, the perimeter survey of the area to be excised will be given to the surveyor-general who will assess the charting and determine whether the planned excision falls within government acquired-area, in which case the proposal will be withdrawn outright.
  • The technical committee will perform a physical examination of the site in question after receiving approval from the surveyor-general. The purpose is to verify the accuracy of the statements made in the application and to interview people of the community in order to gather additional evidence that will be crucial in determining whether the application is accepted or denied. This procedure usually takes 14 days.
  • After inspecting the property, the technical committee can determine whether the land’s intended use is consistent with the city’s master plan.
  • When this is done, the technical committee creates a report and delivers it to the LUAC. This paper contains all of the files collected on the property, as well as their findings from the on-site review and opinions on whether the permit should be allowed or withdrawn.
  • The LUAC examines all of the technical committee’s materials and makes a final decision and recommendation to the governor, which may include approving or rejecting the excision request for pertinent grounds.
  • Surveyor-general’s office is notified as soon as the governor’s office receives the excision order, and a comprehensive perimeter survey of the proposed region is conducted within 30 days.
  • The community’s registered town planners, families, or people who are interested in the land excision proposal will be commissioned to design a layout plan for the new piece of land, which will then be submitted to the state’s Ministry of Physical Planning and Economic Development for approval.
  • The land grantees must enter into an agreement with the government that binds them to take the land in full and unconditional settlement of all prior claims on the land. Similarly, the grantees may agree to compensate the government for damages suffered as a result of encroachment or vandalism of property by family, agents, or community members outside of the excised land region.
  • Following the completion of all of the aforementioned conditions, the technical committee publishes the land excision in the Lagos State Government’s official gazette.
  • The technical committee will publish the official gazette in at least one widely circulated publication. The publication’s goal is to inform the general public about the land’s status, the excised land’s boundaries, and other relevant information. The cost of the newspaper advertisement is the applicant’s responsibility. ​
  • Within 30 days, following the official gazette’s publication in newspapers, the government is expected to provide a certificate of occupancy on the excised land to the grantees’ approved members.
  • All excision reports and administrative files are transferred to the state’s land bureau office when all of the aforementioned procedures have been completed. The excision, surveys, maps, names, and gazettes would then be properly entered into the archives by the registrar of lands in the Excised Lands Agency.

Why is Excised Land so Expensive?

The entire procedure of getting excised land is extremely capital demanding, which is why, after excising the land, the owner rents/sells it at a high price to recover their investment.

If you choose a non-excised property over an excised land because it is cheaper, keep in mind that you will still have to pay for the excision to avoid future confiscation by the authority, thereby losing your investment.

 

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Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels



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