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APPRAISING LAND ACCESSIBILITY UNDER THE LAND USE ACT (L.U.A)
This study appraised land accessibility under the Land Use Act. The case study area for this research has been Lagos state with special attention paid to the following local government areas in the state, namely: Lagos-Island local government, Apapa local government, Mushin Local Government, and Ikeja local government.
A total of 80 questionnaires were administered with 20 being given to each local government and a total of 65 questionnaires were retrieved. The procedure for simple random selection goes thus: A list of 80 potential respondents’ in Lagos metropolis was drawn from the above four mentioned local government areas, which have the knowledge concerning land accessibility and judgemental sampling technique was used to select the final sample for the study, i.e. the division of the population of a given area in the state into four (4) major local government areas. Simple random selection was done to determine the exact respondents that will form the above average respondents for the study.
The data analysis and interpretation were used to highlight how the Land Use Act has affected access to development of land within the study area.
The recommendations and the concluding remarks emphasized the need for an enabling land instruments to administer land and make it readily available to the poor people in the society.
1.1 Background to the study
One problematic issue in Nigeria now is having access to urban land, especially housing, commercial, industrial, recreational, and other urban development projects like infrastructural and social amenities. Because of this chronic shortage of urban land, prices have shot up incredibly, leaving most urban residents in fear that they might never be able to have their own house. Some who manage to secure urban land especially through land-owning families pay for such land twice or thrice, depending on how many floors they want to build. This has become the practice in many parts of Lagos. This shows that the demand for land in Lagos metropolis is extremely competitive.
Since the urban land is not easily accessible in the city, land thugs are having a field day grabbing land belonging to other people. Land owners too are not immune to the temptation of selling the same land to many buyers and even invading government land. This has made buying land in Lagos a very risky endeavour especially when the buyer fails to engage the services of professionals in handling the land transaction. The failure to engage the services of professionals is probably due to lack of fund or ignorance.
Lagos state is obviously faced with the general problems of accessibility to land. And studies shows that, one of the major problems of land accessibility is government policies and laws which emanated from enactment of the land use Act of 1978 (Umezuruike 2003). The Act nationalized all lands in the country (Iseh2003). Access to land in Nigeria is affected by the operation of land use Act. Its operation so far seems to have created more of bottleneck (Omirin 2003). The land use Act created serious problems for land management in the entire country (Mabogunje, 20003). Land speculation, racketeering, and thuggry had been on the increase (Udo, 1996). Though researches on land accessibility under the land use Act in Lagos is limited. The aim of this study is to appraise land accessibility under the Land Use Act in Lagos.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
An increasing proportion of the rapidly growing world population is attempting to satisfy its economic and social needs and desires in an urban context. The enormous migration of people into cities and towns has probably produced an uncontrollable urban explosion, an unprecedented increase in population, and greater demands on the urban infrastructure. The increasing population has led to a higher demand for urban land. This has made the demand for land far higher than its supply. Its physical supply is highly limited even as the demand for its use is increasing daily. As earlier stated in the background to this study, one of the problematic issues in Nigeria now is having access to urban land. Land is an important issue in every society. It affects all activities of man such as social, cultural, economic, political, religious etc.
Due to the increase in the demand for land which has led to extreme competition for available land, this has encouraged the practice of multiple sales of the same land to different buyers by land owning families. It has also led to tremendous land speculation and a subsequent rise in the prices of land. It has also created inequality in land ownership and increasing landlessness among the poorer segments of the population.
Before the land use Act, there was a multiplicity of land tenure systems in the country. Apart from the system in the Lagos Colony where an English freehold system had been established following its annexation in 1861, these diverse systems can be grouped broadly into two categories. The first obtained in the Northern Nigeria where the colonial administration has placed all lands under the control and subject to the disposition of the Governor. The second system that obtained in Southern Nigeria recognized that land was owned by lineages or extended families.
Individuals have only right of use on such family land. The only land held at the governor’s disposal was that which had been expressly acquired for public purposes as crown land. The control imposed by law on the lineages and other local landholders was an obligation to seek the consent of government when rights are being conveyed to aliens.
Faced with these contrasting land tenure systems and the considerable trouble in getting land for public purposes, especially in the southern Nigeria, the military government under General Olusegun Obasanjo sought to unify the two systems in the country through the land use decree of 1978.
The land use decree of 1978 (now the land use Act of 1978) nationalized all lands in Nigeria. It has been three decades ago since the Land Use Act has been promulgated and access to land is still one of the most problematic issues in Nigeria. This calls for the need to appraise land accessibility under the Land Use Act (L.U.A) in Lagos.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions are relevant for this study.
1.4 Aim and Objectives
The aim of this study is to appraise land accessibility under the land use Act (L.U.A) in Lagos. In order to achieve the above stated aim the following objectives will be rigorously pursued.
1.5 Significance of the Study
Land, which refers to the earth’s surface extending downward to the centre of the earth and upward to infinity, including those things permanently attached by nature, such as trees and water, is an important issue in every society. This is because it affects all activities of man, be they social, cultural, economic, political religious etc.
As stated earlier in the background to this study, one problematic issue in Nigeria now is having access to urban land, especially land for housing, commercial, industrial recreational and other urban development projects. There is chronic shortage of land and extreme competition for available land, which has led to high cost of land. The land use Act was promulgated three decades ago to address these problems. There is therefore need to appraise land accessibility under the land use Act in Lagos.
This study will be significant to potential real estate investors, financial institutions, real estate surveyors and valuers, estate agents, land owners, lawyers, estate management lecturers, students of tertiary institutions, and government.
1.6 Scope of the Study
In scope, the study covers the accessibility of land in Lagos. Under the Land Use Act, the study is designed such that it identifies the land in Lagos, examine the Land Use Act, examine land accessibility in Lagos before the land use Act, appraise land accessibility in Lagos under the Land Use Act, analyse land accessibility in Lagos under the act through structured questionnaires and make conclusions and recommendation from the analyzed questionnaires. However, the research covers both the Island and Mainland of the state.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Access to urban Land: This refers to the ability to procure and possess any developable plot within an urban area. In the content of this study, it covers the period of scouting for the land, payment, conveyance and registration, before development is expected to commence. This is the stage when your right to land is secured and unchallenged. However, such land to be accessed must be available, affordable with well secure tenure which can also be transferred easily.
Certificate of Occupancy (C of O): This is a certificate issued by the governor of a state in Nigeria certifying the previous grant of statutory rights of occupancy usually through a letter of allocation/offer. As stipulated in (section 5(1) of the LUA, 1978). Or certifying the deemed grant of statutory right of occupancy under section 9. So as to exclude the local government declared all lands in the state as urban land.
Land: land is defined as the earth’s surface extending downward to the centre of the earth and upward to infinity, including those things permanently attached by nature, such as trees, water etc.
Land Use Act (L.U.A): The Land Use Act is a law promulgated in 1978 by the military government under General Olusegun Obasanjo to unify the land tenure systems of the country. It was promulgated as Land Use Decree No. 6 of 1978 with effect from 29 March 1978.
Land Use and Advisory Committee: This is a body established for each Local Government by the Act and shall have responsibility for advising the Local Government on any matter connected with the management of land within the area of jurisdiction of which the land is situated.
Land use Allocation Committee: This is a committee set up under section 2 of the land use Act to advice the governor on any matter connected with the management of urban land within the state.
Ratification Process: This is a special form of state allocation process. It is a process whereby government condones the illegality of certain squatters on government acquired lands. Such condonement can only be granted if such developed lands are not within government’s committed scheme, under high-tension power lines, within way of public infrastructure and utilities, and where the buildings and layouts do not contravene government regulations.
1.8 Plan of the Study
The study is organized into five main chapters. Chapter one presented the overview of the study. Chapter two would focus on review of relevant literature to the research. Chapter three would present the research method needed to achieve the aim and objectives of the study. Chapter four would report the empirical results and discuss the findings while chapter five would conclude the study and recommend solutions to the findings.
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