Editors Note: Hello Zikists, the knowledge in the article I’ve shared below can save from a lot of headache when buying land.
I know a couple that bought their first parcel of land with their savings, only for government to sieze it because they unknowingly bought government land.
So read it to learn how you can avoid falling into a similar hole.
See, before you buy land in Nigeria, it is very important that you know the status of the land!
Knowing the status of the land you are about to buy can save you a lot of money and unnecessary hassles.
Imagine buying a piece of land and erecting a building on it, just for the government to come some years after, and tell you to move out, with claims that your building is illegal because it is sitting on government property.
All these can be prevented if you know the status of the land you are investing in before sealing the transaction.
This brings us to *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.
Now that you understand what it means for land to be free, you should also know that all lands that fall within areas that are designated as urban areas are under government acquisition until deemed committed or free.
There are two types of acquisition;
*1. committed acquisition* and
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.
Lands that are under “general acquisition or “global acquisition can later be confirmed ‘free’ or ‘committed’.
A land under general acquisition can become free by a process called *excision*.
“Excision is a process whereby the government releases a portion of an expanse of land that is not committed”
If a parcel of land that was formerly under acquisition becomes excised, it is then considered free and becomes gazetted.
The gazette then becomes the title on the land and such land is safe to buy because a proper title can be processed on the land.
A second case where lands under general acquisition can be released is if an individual purchased a land that was under acquisition without going through an excision process.
Such lands can go through another process called “ratification” or “regularization” in which the land owner pays for the land to be ratified or regularized.
The only conditions in this case are that the land in question must not fall within a committed area and that the purpose for which the land was bought does not disrupt the original plan of the state.
Conditions for ratification may differ from state to state.
I hope by now you understand the most important question to ask when buying land in Nigeria and the kind of lands you should avoid.