Anyone interested in investing in landed property should be familiar with and appreciate the importance of land documents. It’s a shame that only 4 out of 10 land buyers know and appreciate what these contracts really mean and what they’re for.
Many individuals believe that the C of O is the only Land Document they need or should ask for when purchasing land, which is incorrect. Aside from the Certificate of Occupancy, there are a number of other important land documents that you should request before purchasing any property.
Many individuals make this error when they acquire land and fail to ask for a Deed of Assignment, despite the fact that this is one of the most critical land documents to have when buying land since without it, there was no transaction at all, no proof that you are now the new owner of the land.
Before buying land in Nigeria, you should be aware of the following seven documents.
Don’t worry, I’ll try to simplify what these land documents indicate so you can comprehend them better at the end of this essay.
1. SURVEY PLAN
This is a land document that depicts a parcel’s boundary measurements in order to provide an exact measurement and description of that land.
Surveyors are those who deal with survey concerns and are governed by the Surveyor General’s office in the state where the land is located.
Traditional families have had a lot of authority in the past when it came to land; they were the ones who decided which land would be sold and which would be kept.
According to the Land Use Act, all land belongs to the government, thus the Governor is the sole owner of all land, including that in your village, and he, not your Igwe, Oba, or Emir, will decide what to do with it.
So, once the Governor has chosen the area he wants to use, he gives the remaining land to the traditional family to do with as they like.
4. DEED OF ASSIGNMENT
When I see people buy land and don’t ask for a Deed of Assignment, it baffles me because this is the sole document that proves you are the new owner of that land.
When complications develop from that land sale, these people would cry that Omonile tricked them, but they will be unable to show a Deed of Assignment, implying that they have no legal right.
5. GOVERNOR CONSENT
A Governor’s Consent is a land document that is received anytime you purchase land with a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O). It’s the land document that informs the Governor and the broader public that ownership of the property has changed.
This land document is a list of everything, and it’s only for the seller to acknowledge that he or she has received the money owed to them for the land they want to sell. Most individuals make the mistake of assuming that a receipt and a deed of assignment are the same thing.
7. CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
A Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is a land document issued by the state government that officially leases any state-owned land to you (the applicant) for 99 years. All lands, as stated previously, belong to the government.
A C of O, on the other hand, is the legally accepted document for proving land ownership. After 99 years, what happens? Experts are still debating the answer to that issue.