The Land Use Act

In March 1978, the land use act was promulgated. Prior to this time, traditional families and communities maintained absolute control over large portions of real estate. The land is either dedicated for personal use or leased out for other agricultural purposes.

The Governor of a state became the custodian of all lands within its jurisdiction with the advent of the Land Use Act of 1978. As a result, families lost exclusive control over land.

The Act allowed the governor of a state to acquire real estate for developmental purposes. Therefore, when the governor designates any area, community or village as an urban area it hence becomes acquired.

An Excision

Acquired land may however be regained by  families in the form of an excision. This involves documenting and recording the part of land that has been excised in the official Gazette of that state.

A Gazette

The government can officially record any area previously designated land as an urban area as excised. This is published in a Gazette. As a result it can replace a Certificate of Occupancy to grant title to the families or villagers.

Certificate of Occupancy

If Government decides to acquire a land that has a Certificate of Occupancy. There is a compensation for the acquired property for the buyer.

What you need to know about Land Use

For example, if in 1981, Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki were all part of a big Community called Oniru. Also back then Oniru is 100,000 square meters. And the Government is interested in taking some parts of the land in area. For instance, the government takes 70,000 square meters for use as an Urban Area or for public purposes.

How Gazette comes into play

The government will record this acquisition in the official government Gazette. Also the government can record that the remaining 30,000 square meters has been left alone for the traditional family to own. This is an excision. Gazette is a very powerful instrument the family/community can get from the government.


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