Luka Bulus Achi: Access to land and security to land tenure in Nigeria
Presented at the 28th
international union for
land value taxation conference:
Economics for conscious evaluation
July 2013, London, UK
This paper is about some aspect of earth concerns
in Nigeria drawing experiences from Kaduna and
Nigeria is located in west Africa with nearly 1/5 of
the total population of Africa.
We run three tiers of government, Federal, State
and Local governments.
We are signatories to almost all Earth concerns
conventions and protocols.
We have over 200 environmental laws with
regional and local flavours.
Enforcement is however the major pit fall.
The state has over all say in land matters.
Before 1914:- customary and cultural land tenure system was
used, not written and authority derived from Chiefs, Emirs and
1914-1960:- colonial system and customary land tenure system
running concurrently. Where there is conflict of interest colonial
system had upper hand (European quarters ie GRA).
1960-1976:- same as above but customary land tenure restricted to
rural areas. Government would acquire land at will any where and
give statutory certificates of occupancy.
1976 to date:- the land use decree act 1978 provided that all land
be vested in the office of the governor and to be managed in the
interest of the public.
Compulsory acquisition introduced to enhance development.
Customary rights to be provided by local governments on rural land
Land can not be sold-only ones rights are transacted.
Temporary structures do not need planning permits
(permanent structures includes concrete and steel).
Person less than 21 years can not own right to land
Women are still discriminated against.
The statutory certificate of occupancy has more recognition
than any other right over land.
The process for a certificate of occupancy is quite
expensive and cumbersome
There is always discrimination against settlers/migrants.
Tenure for land use to a certificated owner is 99years and
nothing to a non-certificated owner.
largest city in Nigeria, well planned by Lord Lugard
with various land use systems in place.
Regarded as the political centre in the north, gate way
city to most northern states, proximity to Abuja.
Availability of infrastructure makes it a place of choice
to leave in.
Rapid development in the southern part towards
Ravage by religion and political crises since the early
80s, recently boko haram sect.
Social/cultural differentials in access to land-security
and safety becomes paramount in land acquisition.
The state unfortunately is transvers by river Kaduna –
forming a natural boundary between two extremes.
As a result, Land extortion, land hording and land
grabbing are now a resultant consequence.
The rich have all-use of money and position to acquire
land-get title and eject original owners.
These influence the formation of a group called
initiative for the support and promotion of human
View land as a common gift to all man kind irrespective of race,
religion, gender or socio-economy status.
So far in Kaduna 19 cases have been handled.
8 where settled amicably through negotiations.
12 went to litigation, out of which 3 were settle out of court, we
obtained judgment for 2 while 5 are still in court.
Advocacy , empowerment, enlightenment, sensitization, mediation
Collaboration with legal aid council and human rights commission.
Pressuring local and state government to tax land, create land
records, give recognition to other forms of rights over land to ensure
security of tenure.
Very low level of literacy:- vast majority are ignorant of
their rights even when such rights clearly exist.
Fear and threat to life:- force most less privilege people
to abandon their land.
Capacity building for the initiative: – the NGO needs
further capacity building to cope with demand to assist.
If land is taxed appropriately this will create the incentive
not to acquire or hold land unnecessarily.
Giving legal value to other forms of title will enhance
access to capital for the development of land.
Abuja-federal capital city enveloped by an area referred to as the
federal capital territory was established about 35years ago in an area
with over 250 indigenous communities with a population of about
These communities were to be resettled outside the territory but it was
not implemented. Thus a problem arose as to what to do with these
Challenges include 1) land title status of both indigenes and settlers or
migrants. 2)Government view of indigenes/settlers is that they are either
temporary dwellers; illegal; squatters and just migrants with no locus
standing ( can be remove at a day’s notice).3)These communities and
groups live in fear, uncertainty and frustration. 4)They are striped of
their self esteem and their human right taken for a ride.
Creation of a common front to address issues at stake
Empowerment to regain respect and self esteem
Sensitization of all stake holders via town hall meetings
Encourage fairness and justice in access to land and
security of tenure via litigation
Collaborate with other NGOs to address associated
environmental and human related matters
Challenge the recent ‘land swap’ initiative of the FCTA(the
process involves bringing together labour, land, finance,
construction materials and governance in partnership with
the private sector)
Raise the issue of land taxation which is currently treated
Pilot Scheme for
Irrigation of City
Mass Housing Provision
Repairs of and New Vehicles
for security agencies
Joint Operation to be Established
Green Energy Project
Open Schools in
More Class Room/Labs
Sports Experts Academy
in Satellite Towns
Intensive Agric. Dev.
Auto Pond Development/Sanitation
Allocation of 6000 Plot allottees
Improved Environ. Cleanness
House Numbering and Street Naming
60 bed Cottage hospital
at Nyanya, Deiedei
Villagers in City
Comissioning of AYA Junction
225 bed Hospital at Karu
Re-inventing the FCT - The Daily Matrix Deliverable
Ease of ExecutionLow High
Water Supply Improved
Bus lanes Removal of Illegal
Setllers along Airport
220 bed Hospital Gwarinpa
City Gate Relocation
Airport Road Phase I
Co-location for GSM