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Luka Bulus Achi: Access to land and security to land tenure in Nigeria
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Luka Bulus Achi: Access to land and security to land tenure in Nigeria


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Luka Bulus Achi: Access to land and security to land tenure in Nigeria. A presentation at the 2013 Conference 'Economics for Conscious Evolution', London, UK, July 2013.

Luka Bulus Achi: Access to land and security to land tenure in Nigeria. A presentation at the 2013 Conference 'Economics for Conscious Evolution', London, UK, July 2013.

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  • 1. Presented at the 28th international union for land value taxation conference: Economics for conscious evaluation 24th -28th July 2013, London, UK
  • 2.  This paper is about some aspect of earth concerns in Nigeria drawing experiences from Kaduna and Abuja.  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.
  • 3.  Before 1914:- customary and cultural land tenure system was used, not written and authority derived from Chiefs, Emirs and community leaders.  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 only  Land can not be sold-only ones rights are transacted.
  • 4.  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.
  • 5.  4th 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 Abuja.  Ravage by religion and political crises since the early 80s, recently boko haram sect. 
  • 6.  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 settlement.
  • 7.  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 and litigation.  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.
  • 8.  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.
  • 9.  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 50,000  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 communities.  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.
  • 10.  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 with laxity
  • 11. Pilot Scheme for Irrigation of City Quick Wins Mass Housing Provision Repairs of and New Vehicles for security agencies Mini Buses Bus Shelters Joint Operation to be Established City greening and flowering Must Haves Lows-Hanging Fruit Green Energy Project Money Pits FCTA Restructuring Abuja Geographic Information System FCTA Computerization Parks Development Open Schools in Rural Areas More Class Room/Labs Sports Experts Academy New Infrastructure in Satellite Towns Adverts Intensive Agric. Dev. Auto Pond Development/Sanitation Close Circuit Television Allocation of 6000 Plot allottees Improved Environ. Cleanness House Numbering and Street Naming Waste Disposal transfer Stations SMEs 60 bed Cottage hospital at Nyanya, Deiedei Removal of Villagers in City Comissioning of AYA Junction Archives Record Keepping improved 225 bed Hospital at Karu Resettlement Re-inventing the FCT - The Daily Matrix Deliverable Deliverable Impact on Citizens Ease of ExecutionLow High High Low 3 Months 6 Months 9 Months Revenue Generation Increased FCT University 12 Months Water Supply Improved Toilets Bus lanes Removal of Illegal Setllers along Airport 220 bed Hospital Gwarinpa City Gate Relocation Traffic Flow Improvement Replacement of Speed Brakers Markets Airport Road Phase I Co-location for GSM