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Surv. Taiwo Samuel Adeniran

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Surv. Taiwo Samuel Adeniran Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation 8 Yawuri Street, Garki Abuja (+234) ,

2 INTRODUCTION Conventional economic thought considers land as a factor of production in much same way as labour, capital and entrepreneurship. Land is a definable area of the earths’ terrestrial surface encompassing all attributes of the biosphere immediately above or below the surface including those near the surface, the soil and terrain forms, the surface hydrology (including shallow lakes, rivers, ,marshes and swamps under surface, sedimentary layers, associated ground water reserve the plant and animal population.

3 INTRODUCTION Land administration is the process of determining, recording and disseminating information about ownership, value and use of land when implementing Land management policy (UNECE Report, 1996). It is a process and an instrument for government to offer security of tenure on regulate land market, implement Land Reform, protect the environment, levy taxes, etc as well as serve the peculiar development needs of her citizens. Land administration is the way in which the rules of land tenure are applied and made operational. A good land administration system aims at equitable distribution of wealth to encourage economic growth and development.

4 Nigeria, with an estimated population of 140,003,542 is the largest black nation in the world. Its land area covers about 923,768km² on the coast of West Africa. Today, Nigeria is divided administratively into thirty-six (36) states, seven hundred and seventy-four (774) Local Government areas and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja. An estimated 250 of them speaking over four hundred languages, many with dialects. NIGERIA

5 Nigeria Showing the Thirty-six (36) States

6 the land use pattern: arable land:- 33% permanent pastures:- 44% permanent crops covering:- 3% forest and woodlands:- 12% others 8%.


8 This paper will present Land Administration experience in Nigeria before, during and after the Colonia Era. It will also showcase the new initiatives of Land Reform for Economic Development.

9 PRE COLONIAL ERA Prior to the coming of the white man and colonalization, there existed a plethora of indigenous, independent, ethnic enclaves with different cultural traits and attributes. Among the Yorubas, land was corporately owned by the community, village or family, though individual landownership was also recognized. The whole idea is that “group ownership" in the African context is an unrestricted right of the individual in the group to run stock on what is held to be the common asset of land; This customary tenurial system enunciated above also operated to a large extent among the Ibos of the Eastern Nigeria and other tribes in the Southern part of the country.

10 1863,1877: Swamp Improvement Ordnanace
1868: Land Title Ordnance 1907: Land Registration Ordnance of Southern Nigeria 1910: Land & Native Rights Proclamation Summary of Land Policies and Statutes in the Pre Colonial Era

11 PRE COLONIAL ERA The land management structure that existed in the North prior to colonization exhibited most of the features of the customary tenurial system in the South.  The Jihad of the 19th century, during which the Fulani raided many parts of what later become known as Northern Nigeria saw the imposition of Islamic law in the wake of the raids.  The Islamic principles is also in consonance with indigenous land custom, which also did not accept outright alienation of land. In fact, it is presumed that the customary and Islamic systems of land tenure coincide generally on basic concepts. It is therefore trite to submit that customary land tenure system before colonization exhibited essentially a uniform system of landownership and management which, though vested ownership of lands in the community or family At this time, and under the extant customary system, there was no land speculation and land grabbing that is now prevalent in modern times.

12 COLONIAL ERA The colonial masters did not attempt to impose a uniform land tenure system throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria. Through various legislations, proclamations and policies, the colonial government sought to facilitate the transition from the customary system of land tenure to the English land tenure system. Such legislation include the Swamp Improvement Ordinances of 1863 & and the Land Title Ordinance of 1868. This latter Ordinance formed the basis for the grants of land made by the crown between 1863 and 1914.  In 1917, the colonial government instituted a legal framework for compulsory acquisition of land and registration of title to land. 

13 Summary of Land Policies and Statutes in the Colonial Era
1914: Amalgamation of North and South Protectorates 1917: Set up of legal framework for compulsory acquisition and registration of title of land 1916: Land and Native Rights Ordnance 1924: Land Registration Act Summary of Land Policies and Statutes in the Colonial Era

14 COLONIAL ERA The system was first introduced in Lagos vide a legislation in1883 and the rest of Southern Nigeria in 1900. The two legislations were re-enacted into the Land Registration Ordinance1907 of Southern Nigeria and later into Land Registration Act1924 on the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria in1914. The system bred confusion into land administration and all efforts to remedy it through legislations proved abortive.   Thus, the colonial government encouraged and assisted the growth and development of a capitalist land management policy with all the trappings of an open market system and vagaries associated with such policy. The North operated a paternalistic approach to land administration. Based on the Northern Nigerian land committee report, the colonial administration promulgated the Land and Native Rights Proclamation of 1910 which was repealed and replaced with the Land and Native Rights Ordinance of 1916.

15 POST COLONIAL ERA Nigeria became independent in 1st October, 1960 and ever since has been promulgating laws in all aspects of national issues including land administration The control and management of land was transferred from the Emirs to the Chief Executive of the Northern protectorate. This policy was akin to the customary land tenure which sees land as one corporately owned and managed for the benefit and development of members of the group or family or community concerned.  Through this policy, the colonial administration in the North was able to rationally, effectively and efficiently manage the land resources in the area. It reduced land speculation and grabbing, land disputes and uncertainty of the title of land in the area. This paternalistic policy continued until the eve of the promulgation of the Land Use Act in 1978.

16 Summary of Land Policies and Statutes in the Post Colonial Era
1960: Nigeria's Independence 1962: Land Tenure law 1978: Land Use Act Summary of Land Policies and Statutes in the Post Colonial Era

17 POST COLONIAL ERA The post independence land policy in Nigeria exhibited dual features and characteristics. In Southern Nigeria, the policy was dualism with customary land tenure system operating side by side and attimes overlapping with the English land tenure system. The Northern policy was characterized by a paternalistic system which essentially nationalized all lands turning former owners into tenants. There was no national land policy for the whole country. This encouraged the development of multifarious land legislations and policies in the country. The Land Use Act 1978 introduced a uniform land tenure legislation throughout the country but, without, unfortunately, a uniform administrative and implementation policy.  

18 It thus, recommended the establishment of a Land Reform Commission
THE LAND USE ACT 1978, (CAP 202 LFN) The Land Use Act is a product of the recommendation of the Land Use Panel set up by the government in 1977. The Rent Panel identified land tenure to be a major constraint to the successful implementation of many developmental programmes in the country. It thus, recommended the establishment of a Land Reform Commission The panel also recommended the promulgation of a Decree which will vests in the state governments within two years of the Decree all undeveloped sites in private approved layouts within defined urban centers. The recommendations of the Land Use Panel gave birth to the promulgation of the Land Use Decree now Act on March, 29th, 1978. 

All land situated in the territory of each state in the country is now vested in the Governor of the state. All land control and management, including land allocation in urban areas are controlled by the Governor of each state while land located in rural areas becomes the responsibility of the various local government. However only the Governor can declare parts of the state territory governed by him as an urban area by an order published in the state gazette. All land in urban areas is to be administered by a body known as the Land Use and Allocation Committee which has the responsibility of advising the Governor in the management of urban land;  

All lands which has already been developed remains the possession of the person in whom it was vested before the Act became effective. The Governor is empowered to grant Statutory Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) which would be a definite term to any person for all purposes and rights of access to lands under his control. The maximum area of undeveloped land that any person could hold in any one urban area in a State is one half of an hectare, in the rural areas this must not exceed 500hectares except with the permission of the Governor. The consent of the Governor is required for the transfer or alienation of any statutory right of occupancy and the consent of the local government, or that of the Governors' inappropriate cases, must also be obtained for the transfer of customary Right of Occupancy. The government may acquire land and revoke the Right of Occupancy for overriding public purpose and pay compensation ONLY for the unexhausted improvement on the land including agricultural crops.

21 In over 30years of operation, the Land Use Act has succeeded substantially at making it easier for government to acquire land for public purposes It has drastically minimized the burden of land compensation and considerably reduced land litigation. It has however created a new genre of problems for land management in the country particularly in the Housing sector of the economy.

22 Dearth of suitable indigenous technical expertise in the country
CHALLENGES OF LAND ADMINISTRATION IN NIGERIA State autonomy creates problems of control especially in the selection of a system for Land Administration. Dearth of suitable indigenous technical expertise in the country Low level of training and capacity building High capital outlay and financial requirements for the implementation of modernization programs . Low level of property development. Inadequate large scale cadastral maps required for the preparation of the title documents (Certificate of Occupancy). Ineffective infrastructure for Land Management.

23 Challenges of Land Administration in Nigeria

24 New initiatives in land administration for economic development
Economic activities on land should be planned and distributed to serve the common good, be self renewing and build local assets and self reliance. It is humane to maintain the ecology as part of the limited nature to building open spaces, natural assets, equity for equal accessibility to land, benefits and decision making of a society, taking cognizance that the sustainability concept transcends development in land and other environmental resources utilization. Land development should meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

25 New initiatives in land administration for economic development
Towards the beginning of the millennium and the current democratic dispensation in the country, Nigeria commenced a regime of reforms particular in land and economy. Motivated by the desire to put Nigeria among the twenty largest economies in the World by the year 2020, Late President Umaru Yar' Adua anchored his programmes on a seven Point Agenda, which included a Land Reform Programme. It was in a bid to actualize Land Reform as one of the 7-pillars and thereby develop a long-term strategic plan for the transformation of Nigeria that the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform was inaugurated by Mr President on April 2, 2009.

26 THE LAND REFORM A good reform programme for land administration will optimize the use of land as an economic commodity. It will also enhance the overall performance of the national economy. The Land Use Decree of 1978 (now Land Use Act Cap L.5, 2004), attempted to unify the operational law in Nigeria and validate property rights to the citizens (though for a specified period of time), through the issuance of Statutory and customary Certificates of Occupancy. It however, left room for different levels of uncertainty because it did not repeal the previous land laws. These anomalies are what the Land reform is intended to address.

The major objectives of any (ideal) land administration reform are among others, to ensure the following: Secure dealings in land. Low cost of land transactions Access to credit Transparency in all dealings. Easy access for all participants, poor or rich. Protection of minority rights Environmental sustainability

28 THE LAND REFORM The Terms of Reference for the Committee on Land Reform are as follows: To collaborate and provide technical assistance to States and Local Governments to undertake Land Cadastral nationwide. To determine individuals ‘possessory’ rights using best practices and most appropriate technology to determine the process of identification of locations and registration of title holdings. To ensure that land cadastral boundaries and title holdings are demarcated in such a way that communities, hamlets, villages, village areas, towns etc will be recognized. To encourage and assist State and Local Governments to establish an arbitrary/adjudication mechanism for land ownership and conflict resolution. To make recommendations for the establishment of a National Depository for Land Title Holdings and Records in all states of the Federation and the Federal Capital. To make recommendations for the establishment of a mechanism for land valuation in both urban and rural areas in all parts of the Federation; and To make any other recommendation(s) that will ensure effective, simplified, sustainable and successful land administration in Nigeria.

29 The main thrust of the Land Reform is to create a system of land administration that will ensure that all Nigerians whether living in rural or urban areas of the country have a document or title indicating their right to any parcel of land for any standard period of lease or ownership that the nation may decide. This would enable them to draw capital from their land and assist the society to develop a healthy attitude to property right.

The Land Reform Committee employed the following approaches to deliver on their mandates: Identify bottlenecks in the existing legislation on Land Administration and practices within the existing land delivery process. Examine the quality and adequacy of institutional capacities required to administer and promote the inevitably monumental increase in land transactions after the reform. Clarifications of the existing institutional mandates. Examine the requirement to mainstream set practices in the documentation of land tilting, registration process and procedure. Consideration of an orderly development of nationwide land information infrastructure for an efficient networking of databases of cadastral and land title records. The Committee also plans to map the whole country at cadastral scale as implied in the Terms of Reference.

Articulation of Land Use policy reform that are necessary to increase both efficiency and growth of the economic sector and as a catalyst for imbibing the new tenets of the free market economy. Sensitization to create an awareness that the entire people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have to be persuaded to have an attitudinal change towards the land tenure situation in the country. It was realized that the success of the land reform is hinged on mapping the whole country at cadastral scale; showing the land holdings of individuals, groups of individuals and corporate entities. It was resolved that cadastral infrastructure should be established, some of which are: The upgrading and densification of the National Geodetic framework by establishing CORS Production of Ortho-photo maps using satellite imagery and low altitude digital aerial photographs. Building requisite manpower capacity in collaboration with the Universities and development partners Recommendation on the establishment of a National Land Reform Commission

32 The Federal Land Information System (FELIS)
INFRASTRUCTURE FOR EFFECTIVE LAND ADMINISTRATION In order to ensure efficiency in the national land administration, the Federal Government has put in place the following infrastructure: The Federal Land Information System (FELIS) National Technical Development Forum (NTDF) On Land Administration The Cadastral Geographic Information System (CADGIS) Laboratory Deed Registries and Survey Offices Nationwide

33 Infrastructure for Effective Land Administration

FELIS is a computerization program that captures records of land held and allocated by the Federal Government of Nigeria nationwide with reference to their particular spatial location. It holds details about ownership of the land, location, use and subsequent transactions on it and dexterity to use available information for some analysis. It offers a relational central database management system for the control and management of such land records; it has improved the preparation and production of title documents (Certificates Of Occupancy). The rate of preparation of title documents has jumped from about100 titles per annum to about 1,500 titles over the same period. It also helps to introduce transparency in the management of Federal Government land across the country. It is intended to be the hub of the expected network of land records across the 36 States of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja in the National Land Depository. When fully operational, the system is going to provide access to stakeholders and investors through the web.

The objectives of the Forum are as follows: To agree on ideals for the uniform operation of Land Administration throughout the country and establish a uniform data recording template or format. To improve the procedure and processes of Land Administration and registration. To work towards a uniform environment for property ownership and Land Rights throughout the country. To agree on software standards that would enable future interoperability. To generate process description and operational manuals for effective staff training. To establish a common cartographic feature representation convention. To provide a platform for spreading best practices among States as a cost effective way of delivering improvement in Land Administration. To promote a cordial relationship between the Federal and State Governments and between individual and State Governments. To instill a sense of national common purpose. To provide a network of mutual support and open exchange of ideas.

36 The CADGIS laboratory interfaces with FELIS
THE CADASTRAL GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM (CADGIS) ALBORATORY This unit supports Land Administration through the production of Cadastral and Legal Survey plans or Title Deed Plans (TDP). The CADGIS laboratory interfaces with FELIS In addition, a program to convert all the old analogue Cadastral Survey plans to their digital equivalents and to upload them to FELIS was put in place. One of the critical challenges of Land administration in Nigeria is insufficiency of large scale cadastral maps for the processing of title documents. National Cadastral Township Mapping program was articulated and approved by a Ministerial committee. The implementation of the mapping programme was started by the provision of a second order control network nationwide but was stopped due to paucity of fund. The Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation in an effort to produce geospatial data set for all sectors has procured high resolution imagery (2.5m resolution) covering the whole country and has also commenced Township mapping of some states capital through the cadastral survey Unit.  

37 The analogue mode of cadastral data management does not support quick geospatial data production, storage, retrieval, manipulation, visualization, sharing etc.


Due to the joint efforts of the National Technical Development Forum and the Office of the Surveyor General, some of the various states Deed Registries and Survey Offices have been upgraded and modernized. Many of them have transformed from analogue to digital mode, established Geographic Information Systems and trained some of their staff who will run the Land Administration process.

40 CONCLUSION Land is still the main asset of rural Nigerians where over 80% are peasant farmers. Land administration in Nigeria has been in the fore front of the National Economic Plan as over 80% of information acquired in the process of all economic activity in the country are location based. This explains why Land Reform had always been on the National Agenda for economic development. The objectives of the Land Reform are to make all possible efforts to ensure that all infrastructure for Land Administration are established. This is to unlock the capital in land and promote economic development for National growth.


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