What You Should Know About Land Titles In Nigeria

Even though the location and price of a parcel of land are essential to one’s specifications, they just do not suffice when it comes to the crux of the matter. Knowing the documents needed to complete a land transaction are very vital.
Today, I would like to share with you, the types of land titles you should have during the acquisition of landed property and their importance. Truth is, many aspiring landowners know little to nothing about land titles which makes them vulnerable to dubious deals. Let’s get right into it, shall we?


This shows the border dimensions of a parcel of land in order to give an accurate measurement and description of that land. Only surveyors handle survey issues and they are being regulated by the office of the Surveyor-General of the state where the land is located.

A Survey Plan is very important to request for whenever you are trying to purchase land. It is one of the most important because it enables you to know everything about the land i.e. whether it is free or for Agricultural, Residential, Industrial or a Commercial Purpose.

When negotiating for the land you want to buy, first, ask for the Survey Plan then take it to your Surveyor to conduct a land search so as to know if the land is free from government acquisition or to know what the zoning restrictions are.


The Land Use Act, as well as other laws, made it possible for the State Governor to own all lands in the state in order to execute his authority in the acquisition of land for public purpose to provide amenities for the greater good of the citizens.
Fortunately, the government still recognizes that indigenes of different sections of the country have a right to existence in the land of their birth. Hence, it is customary for the state government to leave a portion of land to the natives of each area.
Excision simply means ‘taking a part from a whole’ and that part of the land that has been excised will be recorded and documented in the official government GAZETTE of that state. A Gazette is an official record book where all excision activity is spelled out, detailed and recorded. A Gazette will show the communities or villages that have been granted excision and the number of acres of land that the government has given to them. It is within those excised that the traditional family is entitled to sell its lands to the public and not anything outside those hectares of land given to them.
When you buy land from the family with the excision, you will be issued a Form 1C which will be submitted to the government to verify that the land was properly sold to you by the family.
This land document is very important because it helps you know if the land is free or under government acquisition.

Note: There is no gazette without excision, just as there is no excision without the Gazette. The Gazette is basically proof that an excision occurred.


This is not exactly a land title, though. It is the part of the land that the government has decided to use for public purposes. It is what is left after excision from the land belonging to the natives of that district.


A Deed of Assignment is an agreement between the seller of land or property and the buyer of that land or property showing evidence that the seller has transferred all his rights, his title, his interest and ownership of that land to whoever that has just bought land.
This is the only legal land document that ascertains that one is the new owner of the land. It prevents a buyer from getting duped by omonile during a land transaction.
The Deed of Assignment contains very relevant information for a real estate transaction. For one, it contains out the date when the ownership of the property transfers from one owner to the other. The deed also gives a specific description of the property that is included in the transfer of ownership.


A land receipt, just like any other receipt, is an evidence of payment or a transaction between both parties (buyer and seller). This land document is the least of all and is for the seller to acknowledge that he/she has received the due money he/she has sold the land for.
This is easily mistaken for a Deed of Assignment, however, that is to validate the transfer of ownership while a receipt validates the monetary payment.


A Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is a land document issued by the state government to officially release any land under the state to the very first applicant on it for a period of 99 years. As already indicated above, all lands belong to the government. It indicates that the buyer holds the statutory right to occupancy of the land and there can only be one owner as the certificate cannot be replicated after being sold or transferred to another person.
A C of O however, is the officially recognized and most important land document for validating rights to land. What happens after 99 years? That question is still subject to deliberation among professionals. Most have adopted a wait-and-see attitude while others postulate that as the new owner of the land, you the buyer can renew the certificate of occupancy when it expires.


A Governor’s Consent is a land document that is obtained whenever the ownership of land with C of O has been transferred. It’s the land document that lets the Governor and the general public know that the land in question has changed hands.
It is very important for a buyer of land to perfect his or her document by obtaining a Governor’s consent so as to rest assured that they can transfer ownership of the land at any time without hassle.


A piece of land cannot have all these titles at once. It is usually either Excision, C of O or Governor’s Consent. The rest must always be requested for, as they are essential in proper verification of the actual land titles. Have you been longing to invest in land in Lagos? Land is very limited and still appreciates at a steady rate so before they get sold out, contact us now. All you need is your budget and specific location. At Bricks & Tierra, we believe that buying land shouldn’t be so complicated as long as you know the right steps to take.

Take them with us.

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