What are Land Titles?
Knowing and understanding land titles in Nigeria is a vital thing for anyone who wants to invest or purchase any land property. A land title is an official record showing the owner of a piece of land. It can also include information about mortgages, covenants, caveats, and easements.
Many people; particularly first-time buyers do not know the various land titles that are used by property developers nor their purposes. The only one most of them are concerned about is the popular C of O. However, there are other land titles that are as important as the C of O and which, anyone and everyone must know. Besides, they also serve as proofs of transactions between the seller(s) and buyer(s).
Certificate of Occupancy
This document is a land title document that the Governor gives to show that a landowner has the right to occupy the land. This is because all lands in any state vests only in that of a State Governor as stated in the 1978 Land Use Act. The C of O title document carries the occupier’s name, the years to occupy the property and the purpose of the property. People consider it important because it is the document that financial organizations usually request when taking collaterals. It also prevents land repossession by the government without compensation. Do you know that it is possible to have a certificate of occupancy without owning land? However, every landowner usually has it because it indicates ownership. Hence, lands that have CofO are usually more valuable than those without it.
The Governor’s Consent is the approval that a State Governor or his delegate gives in any transaction that has to do with the transfer of ownership or other interests over any land property in order to make the transaction valid. This document is important because if a landowner decides to sell or transfer his land to another person, such a person must obtain the Governor’s Consent before such a transaction is recognized as legal. It is, therefore, advisable that land buyers perfect their land titles by immediately obtaining the Governors consent, so as to be able to claim land validly in the eyes of the law.
This refers to a land that has been released by the government to the original landowners before being acquired by the government. This is because the government still recognizes that indigenes of different sections of the country have a right to the land of their birth. Hence, it is conventional for state governments to give up or transfer a portion of land to the natives of such area. In essence, an excision simply means such lands are no longer under the control of the government, but of the actual community owners.
The land excision is to be documented formally in the official gazette of such state. this also means that the process of acquiring the C of O is now possible. The thing about not having a land that is free from excision means that it can be taken over by the government any time, even if you buy it from the original dwellers. Land buyers whose excision is in process should know that it does not usually mean that the ministry will grant the excision nor the total land area. Hence, the need to properly understand land titles in Nigeria, as a whole.
The gazette is simply the permanent official book that details the information of important statutory and non-statutory notices. A gazette, for instance, will show the communities that the government grants excision and the number of land parcels that are given to them. It is now within those excised acres that the owners; usually a traditional family now has the right to sell to the public. The gazette must show the date and location of issuance. It is important because it provides support to legal processes regarding lands. Hence, any unverified gazette can lead to property demolition or acquisition by the government.
In essence, it is important for land buyers to understand and verify land titles in Nigeria beyond their names. Rosemont Properties, here, explains how to conduct land search and verify land titles, so you can be well assured that you won’t be losing your land anytime soon.