Nigeria Land Rights Forum Speakers and Papers
Nigeria Land Rights Symposium – Speakers and Papers
1. A BRIEF ADDRESS ON THE MANDATE OF THE CAPITAL CITY DEVELOPMENT
AUTHROITY (With Emphasis on Land Admin.)
Paper presented by
Hon. Ebiowei Doukpolagha as the keynote address
Executive Secretary, Bayelsa State Capital City Development Authority (CCDA).
2. ‘Land Ownership, Housing Costs and the Prosperity Paradox’. The
dominant economic paradigm today is called “free-market” system. This
system has produced some of the most horrific outcomes which include
chronic poverty, unemployment and widened the gap between the rich and
the poor. The paper examines the underlying courses and proffers a
solution – THE Third Way Economics
Paper presented by Gordon Abiama – Director, Africa Centre for
Geoclassical Economics /Nigeria Programmes Coordinator, Earth Rights
3. ‘Understanding Nigeria’s Land Use Law’. By Prof Reuben Odoh
In the light of current proposed land reforms agenda being advocated
in public discourse, Prof. Udo, who is deeply versed to land use
matters will bring his wealth of knowledge to give participants
clearer understanding of key issues involved.
Prof. Reuben Udo - Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Niger Delta
University, Wilberforce Island
4. ‘Land Values, The Bayelsa State Experience
Paper presented by Mr Moses Teibowei. He is the current Chairman of the Bayelsa State Chapter of Nigerian
Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers,
LAND OWNERSHIP, HOUSING COSTS AND THE PROSPERITY PARADOX
By Gordon Abiama
A paper presented at the first Earth Rights Conference held at the auditorium of Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa State, Nigeria on March 3rd 2011
In spite of today’s world of push-button technology that has resulted in unprecedented increase in productive capacities, the paradox of grinding poverty amidst plenty continue to defy economic policy prescriptions recommended by different economic planners. This goes to prove that the current political economy is fallacious.
Wealth distribution modalities prescribed by mainstream neoliberal economists for countries all over the world to implement have only succeeded in producing an inequitable society where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
This clear paradox of abundant natural wealth and abject human poverty has generated much debate among economists and political scientists. However, the most common reason postulated by these neoliberal economists according to Malin Roodman, is that “leaps and dives of commodity prices can whiplash resource dependent economies: episodes of high prices lead to ambitious, sometimes hasty investment plans; later low prices force governments to choose between ruinous budget deficits and useless, half finished projects”. - The Natural Wealth of Nations (P-56) Walter Malin Roodman.
The above explanation merely scratches the surface of reasons for the persistence of inequity in our society. The demand made upon developing countries at adopt a more open market economy (unequal free trade) has been a means by developed countries to continue “plunder by trade” by writes Prof J. W Smith.. (Economic Democracy - J . W Smith, IED 2002).
Several factors have been adduced for this social anomaly by the followers of renowned American philosopher and economist, Henry George, chief of which is the lack of equal access to land and its resources by all. Former British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill while addressing the British House of Commons described the monopoly of land as the mother of all monopolies.
The former British Prime Minister admits,” Land which is a necessity of human existence, which is original source of all wealth, which is strictly limited in extent, fixed in geographical position – land, I say differs from all other forms of property in these primary and fundamental conditions. Nothing is more amusing than to watch the efforts of our monopolist opponents to prove that other forms of property and increment are exactly the same and are similar in all respects to the unearned increment in land”.(Striking Utterances - Rt Hon. Winston Churchill – The Ruskin Press 1941
Land in its political economy definition covers all naturally occurring resources like surface lands, electromagnetic spectrum, the seas, rivers, fishes in the streams, forests, minerals, the air we breathe etc, should rightly be excluded from the domain of private property since they are not products of any human exertion.
Imagine the absurdity for someone to claim ownership of the air you breathe and then ask you to pay for it. How did he come into its ownership in the first place? This question goes for surface lands, rivers as well as lands with mineral deposits.
The only condition for exclusive use of any land site or monopoly of any resource is payment of ground rent directly back to the community as whole as a first source of public revenue. (Taxation According to Ability to Pay – Harry Gunnison Brown)
There has been increasing debate in recent years over the disposition of trans boundary resources. There has been ongoing debate over nations’ rights to claims on minerals on ocean floor. Nigeria and Cameroun is a case in point. The controls of rivers and oceans that flow through the territories of many nations have been a source of strained relations and even bloody conflicts.
Studies have shown that all the conflicts, both local and international, can be traced to the struggle to control these God given resources often to exclusion of others, whether such conflicts have ethnic or religious veils over them.
How do we then secure a common right to the use of land? Land value capture holds the key. The total rental value of land in Nigeria has never been calculated. In a places like Lekki Peninsular in Lagos, prices of land goes for as much as N70 million and N300 million in Abuja, which may be far above the cost of the building on it. Increase in land values is socially created and not as a result of anything the land lord has done.
OUR COLLECTIVE RESOURCE
In the year 2001, my colleagues at Earth Rights Institute and I sat in a cafe by a beach in Senegal and came up with a proposal to help the people of the Niger Delta region benefit from the years of oil extraction going on there. We came up with the Niger Delta Fund Initiative which is to be an institutional mechanism for fair distribution of oil royalties to develop the oil bearing communities.
Years later, seeing the rationale in such a initiative, several Niger Delta States like Edo State, Ondo State and Delta State set up their various oil commissions to accelerate development in their oil bearing communities. The performances of these Oil Commissions have been very positively impactful.
As a step further, the Federal Government has come up with the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as well as the setting up of a Sovereign Wealth Fund. It is hoped that the management of such a fund will be very transparent and not shrouded in secrecy like most government institutions are.
Land values in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State may not be as high as in Victoria Island in Lagos but they are steadily rising and beginning to get out of the reach of the common man whose hope is to one day own his own home. As a fast growing city, with rapid increase in prices of land landlords and speculators have cashed in on the situation. The evils of land speculation on the economic and social development of a city are manifold.
What landlords and land speculators do is to hoard land by holding onto them for many years without developing them, hoping that someday they can be sold at a very good profit. However, studies in different cities have shown that by drastically increasing tax on land values of these unused lands, the owners are encouraged to either put them to use or sell them; Land becomes cheaper when speculation is no longer profitable.
GROUND RENT IN LAGOS STATE
Ground rent has been the major source of public finance for the Lagos State government. Worried by the menace posed by land speculation the government set out to tackle cases of land speculation in the state with the threat of revocation of such lands. This however falls short as private land market still thrives.
Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Lands Bureau, Mr. Gbenga Ashafa, said in a press interview that it has been discovered that many allotees only secure government land for purely speculative objectives as their interests run counter to government’s goals, adding that as a way of curbing the practice, revocation of land by the state government has now become routine.
Ashafa asserted that government allocates land to members of the public and issues Certificate of Occupancy with terms and condition, noting that holding on to the land without developing it, deprives several other people who are willing and ready to develop it.
“Some even hold onto land for more than 20 years without developing them. Consequently, government revenue is affected by non-development of such allocated plots of land. Owners of such vacant plots do not pay ground rent”, he noted.
Furthermore, land value taxation recovers the value that government spending on services and infrastructure gives to land, distributing it to all citizens equitably. When robustly implemented on all land sites based on fair and current evaluations, land value taxation eliminates incentives for speculation, reduces land prices, keeping land accessible and affordable for those who need it.
By replacing harmful, unfair taxes on production, exchange and labor, land value taxation increases wealth production while ensuring a fairer distribution of wealth - both essential in order to dramatically reduce poverty; prevent urban sprawl and destructive conflicts over land.
Writes Fred Harrison:” If land rent is available for private appropriation, it acts like a candle drawing a moth to a flame. There is an inevitable thrust of investment activity away from job-creating enterprises and into speculative activity in land market”.
“The neo-classical economists, the school that emerged at the turn of the 20th century, redefined economics to eliminate the unique characteristics of land and natural resources. These were conflated into the concept of capital, as if there was no distinction between manmade equipment which we use to manufacture wealth and the land on which we rely for our lives”. (The Losses of Nations (p-62) - Fred Harrison).
According to Harrison, the truth about rental income is “concealed under layers of analytical and statistical misrepresentation”. This practice of applying all forms of mathematical equations to economic theories was what gave rise to the description of economics as the dismal science.
Each nation of the world has been subjected either to the practice of capitalist or socialist type solutions in the wealth distribution economics. Socialist type solutions to the problem “resulted in unwieldy and inefficient bureaucracies that, while more evenly distributing produced wealth, depress productive powers by inhabiting individual incentives and freedom.
Writes Hartzok:“The capitalist arrangement, while maximizing efficiency in production through competition and reward for individual incentive, cannot resolve the misdistribution of wealth problem because of the basic flaw in putting land base in same market category as labour-produced wealth”.- (Who Owns the Earth? - Alanna Hartzok 2001).
Then there is a third way, a middle ground, so to speak. This third way is known geoism or geoclassical economics as propagated by the Georgist School of Thought. “It actually arises from and brings into proper perspective an appreciation and unification of the highest values of both the left and the right. It shows concern for fairness in distribution of wealth and collective societal needs as emphasized by the left wingers and individual freedom and incentive in production valued by the right”, writes Hartzok.
The above mentioned objectives are what Nigeria’s Land Use Law of 1978 set was made to achieve. This law has come under severe knocks especially from the business community as well as some leaders of natural resource rich communities who have called for drastic reforms. Those calling for its abrogation are either being propelled by selfish motives so they can legally continue to profiteer in land or they are plainly ignorance. The aim of the Law is to make land easily and cheaply accessible to the people especially in urban areas where land prices practically go through the roof as well as discourage land speculation and perpetuity in land ownership, hence the 99 years Certificate of Occupancy issue to land users.
In spite of the fact that renowned Nobel prize-winning economists like Robert Solow, Franco Modigliani , James Tobi and Joseph Stiglitz among others have so glowingly endorsed the Georgist paradigm, there continues to be a stiff opposition to its adoption by mainstream economists. This is because, if adopted, it would bring justice and equity in our world and probably tip the apple cart.
This opposition according to Fred Harrison comes from the most powerful of all vested interests: the private owners of land. “They were not going to relinquish their powers: and any threat to their status in society, which flowed from their command over the rental income of land. That defensive struggle continues today, the outcome of which will determine whether society can gain access to the Promised Land” wrote Harrison. (The Corruption f Economics - P170 Mason Gaffney and Fred Harrison – Shepheard –Walmyn 1994).
It is this type of class of people in Nigeria that successfully frustrated the effective implementation of the Land Use Law of 1978 and are today vehemently calling for its outright abrogation. The same scenario is unfolding in Ghana today where the government is in the process of abolishing land ownership in favour of land leasing..
It is my belief that the land value taxation approach in public finance holds considerable potential for addressing the varied distortions in land management and use and ensuring equity. An analysis of its impact on Yenagoa and other major Nigerian cities would be an excellent exercise after this conference.
Mr. Gordon Abiama is the Executive Director of Nigeria based NGO, Africa Centre for Geoclassical Economics. He is also on the Board of Directors of Henry George Institute, new York, USA.
1 Abiama, G.D (2003), The Challenge of Democracy and Natural Resource Management in Nigeria.
2. Hartzok, Alanna (2001).Who Owns the Earth?
3. Brown, Harry Gunnison -Taxation According to Ability to Pay
4. Harrison, Fred - The Losses of Nations (p-62)
5. Gaffney, Mason & Harrison, Fred - Corruption of Economics - P170 Shepheard-Walmyn (1994).
6. Churchill, Rt Hon. Winston-Striking Utterances - The Ruskin Press 19410
7. Smith, J . W (2002) IED Economic Democracy
8. Roodman, Walter Malin - The Natural Wealth of Nations (P-56) Walter Malin.
UNDERSTANDING NIGERIA’S LAND USE LAW
Reuben K. Udoh
In a brief statement in 1990 to introduce my book on Land Use Policy And Land Ownership In Nigeria (Udo, 1990), I observed as follows:
i) Nigeria’s controversial Land Use Decree of 1978 continues to make the headlines twelve years after its promulgation. The indications are that the debate will continue into the next century even after incorporating the modifications called for its policy.
ii) Survey of the opinions of Nigeria Land Use carried out in 1986, showed that the popular acclamation that greeted the publication of the Land Use Decree in 1978 has since been replaced by widespread disillusionment created by the shoddy implementation of the law.
These statements remain true today (2011) thirty three years after the promulgation of the Land Use Law by some professional bodies and some academics has continued up till 20011.I am aware that as far back as 1991, that is twenty years ago, the Hon. Attorney-General and Minister of Justice had directed the Nigerian Law reform Commission (NLRC) to undertake a revision of the Land Use Act cap202, of the Laws of Nigeria 1990. On August 22, 1991, the Chairman of NLPC Hon. Dr. Olakunle Orojo, CON, OFR, wrote to me to prepare a paper for a National Workshop of the Reform of the Land Use Act. I was requested to consider every section of the Act and to state;
(a) Whether or not the section should be amended or deleted and why
(b) What amendment, if any, is proposed and
(c) Whether a new provision or section is necessary, why it is necessary and how it should read.
The fee was N2, 000 (Two Thousand naira) only.
In response to that letter I submitted in October 1991, a 29-page document on the Review and reform of the Land Use Act. The Vice President, Admiral Aikhomu declared open on December 9, 1991, the National Workshop organized by the Nigerian Law Reform Commission for the Reform of the Land Use Act held at the National Assembly Complex, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos. General Olusegun Obasanjo who, as Head of State, signed and promulgated the Land Use Decree, 1978 presenteed a paper at the Workshop and so did Hon. Attorney-General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ayibola. I also presented a paper.
The Land Reformn Commission later invited me to the meeting at Abuja to consider the harmonized revised Land Use Act before presentation to Government. It is not clear why the revised land Use Law was not made available to the public before General Babangida stepped aside in 1995. The revised law as at the time was a more people-friendly document and I hope that it will one day see the light of the day.
The Land Situation Before 1978
Understanding Nigeria’s Land Use Law is the topic that the organizers of this conference have asked me to address. During the past thirty years of its existence, the Land Use Decree 1978, now the land Use ha become the most vilified law in this country. A large number of those who have condemned the land use law and asked that it be abrogated have not cared to read the law. They appear not to be aware that the law came into being as s response by government to numerous complaints about the developmental constrains posed by the existing land tenure system in the country.
In May 1997, this is a year before the promulgation of the Land Use Decree, I was called upon to give my inaugural lecture as professor of Geography at the University of Ibadan. The Topic that I chose for my lecture was LAND Policy For Effective Management Of The Nigeria Economy. It was an appropriate topic at the time because the land tenure system and the related issue of a national land policy had attracted considerable attention in the press towards the end of 1976 as evidenced by the following Newspaper headline:-
1. Nigeria’s Land Tenure System- “Worst form of Capitalism”- Daily sketch. November 11 1976
2. “Halt Rising of land” Daily sketch December 15 1976
3. “Land Law in North Outdated”. New Nigeria, December 15 1976.
I therefore decided to speak on the land situation Nigeria in 1977 because I was convinced from studies of migrant farmers in the out-South and South-West Regions of Nigeria, that a firm and revolutionary land policy was necessary for the planned development of the Nigeria economy and for ensuring political stability and fostering integration.
A year earlier, in 1975, the Third National Development Plan (1975-80) has observed that “another area of relative neglect in the physical planning in Nigeria is land Policy” (Lagos, 1975), and noted that both government and the private sector require land in increasing the scale for development projects. It was observed that although legislation existed empowering government to acquire land compulsorily for public purpose, it had become difficult to do so at reasonable cost in some urban areas. The point was also made that an increasing number of land speculators “purchase land which they do not intend to develop, hold on to them till development had substantially increased their market value, and then sell at abnormal profits” It recommended a firm land policy to check artificial inflation of land values and to minimize ‘unearned’ income from land speculation.
Another related development in the same year was the appointment by the Federal Military Government in August 15th 1975 of the Anti-inflation Tack Force (hereafter the Task Force) “to examine the current inflationary tendencies in the economy and identify their causes; and recommend nearing in mind the economic and social objectives of the country, short and long term policies and measures that would effectively contain inflationary pressure in the national economy” In the interim report submitted by the Task Force on October 30 1975, the Task Force identified the current system of land tenure in the country as the major clog in the wheel of national development and recommended the promulgation of a decree that will have effect of vesting all land in principle in the state government. It went on to state that such a policy, all future transactions in land will require the approval of the respective state government and will be on leasehold basis. The Government rejected these recommendations.
Discontent amongst wage-earners in Lagos and other large cities escalated while Government was still considering the Report of the Anti- Inflation Task Force. High and rising house rent in Lagos was a major issue of discontent. Government responded by setting up, on January 6 1978, The Rent panel to “review” the level and structure of rents in relation to the housing situation in the country with particular reference to urban centres…. And to suggest appropriate remedial measures and make recommendations for solving the rent problem in the country….” Again the Rent panel identified the current land Tenure System in the country as the major clog in the development program of the nation. The pane went on to observe that:
Many of our housing program will be difficult to implement so long as nothing is done to
i). have a national land registration system.
ii). Review our land tenure system and
iii). Modernize the law of compulsory acquisition and compensation.
It was the Rent panel of 1976 that recommended inter-alia as follows:
The establishment of a land Reform Commission with powers to
(a) study very closely the various aspects of our land Tenure system… a to recommend steps to take to streamline them
(b). take stock of the land situation in the country and establish order of
(c). control future uses and open new land for the need of Nigeria’s growing
population especially in the urban centres.
2. The promulgation of a Decree which will vest in the State Government within two years of Decree all undeveloped sites in private approved layouts within defined urban centres.
The Land Use Panel of 1977
Throughout 1976 and also in 1977, Nigeria Newspaper published editorials and many articles from individuals and officials of some professional bodies on the need for land reform in Nigeria and the form it should take. These publications influenced the choice of the title of Land Policy Effective Management of the National Economy for my inaugural lecture at the University of Ibadan on March 10, 1977 (Udo, 1980). My views on the land situation in Nigeria as contained in that lecture derived from ny study in 1965 – 68 of migrant tenant farmers in the South – West and South –South geo-political region of Nigeria (Udo,1975).
On May 16, 1977, that is about two months after my inaugural lecture, the Federal Military Government appointed a 12 member Land Use Panel under the Chairmanship of the Hon. Justice Chukwunweike Idigbe, Justice, Supreme Court of Nigeria, Lagos. My name was third in the list. I learnt five years later from General Obasanjo, the then Head of the Federal Military Government, that it was after reading my lecture that he decided to appoint me to serve as a member of the Panel. It is now history that I ended up submitting a Minority Report on the issue of Land Policy. The Government adopted the Minority Report and thereafter proceeded to promulgate the Land Use Decree 91978) now the Land Use Law.
The Land Use Law
The Land Use Decree, 1978 was promulgation on March 29, 1978. Six months later, the Decree was incorporated into the Nigeria Constitution which became effective on October 1, 1979 when the Military terminated its 13 years (1966-1979) rule of the country. The Decree was made a part of the 1979 constitution so as to prevent the incoming civilian administration from repealing it by a simple majority in the National Assembly. Politicians, who had promise the electorate in 1979 to initiate action to abrogate the Land Use Decree if elected into office in 1979 were unable to do so until October 1982 when a Bill top repeal the Decree was introduced. Unfortunately, the Bill was never debated in the Legislature because of the abrupt termination of the Shehu Shagari Administration by the General Buhari led coup of December 30, 1983.
The first and most fundamental provision of the Land Use Law is that all lands in the territory of each state of Nigerian are vested in the Governor of that state (Lagos, 1978). For the Southern states , this provision implies a revolutionary change in the ownership and control of land, but not so in the Northern states which had operated a similar law since 1916. For the Southern states the new position was that state Governor had replace the family (or clan) head, the Oba or any other traditional ruler as the trustee of land for the people. Uchendu (1979) observed that by implication, the logical sovereign in land matters though not specifically mentioned in the law (decree), is the Nigerian state. He is right, and in my view, that is the way it should be.
The Land Use Law provides (section 2(1) of part 1) that (a) all land in urban areas shall be under the control and management of the Governor of each State and (b) all other land shall, subject to the law, be under the control and management of the Local Government within the area of jurisdicted of which the land is situated. The rights, limited to such rights and the duties of occupiers of land under the law are spelt out in part II of the law which deals with the principles of land tenure and the powers of the Governor and the Local Government over land. Two categories of rights of occupancy are recognized namely (a) the statutory right of occupancy to be issued by the Governor and (b) the customary right of occupancy to be issued by the Local Government.
The State Governor has power in respect of land in urban and rural areas, to grant statutory rights of occupancy to any person for all purpose and to demand rent for any such land. Once granted, a statutory right of occupation extinguishes all existing right of the use and occupation of the land in question. The Local Government has power to grant customary rights of occupation to any person or organization for the use of land not located in urban areas. A statutory right of occupation can and does in fact extinguish a customary right of occupancy granted by a Local Government. This is one sore point in the law.
Like most other land policy enactment and land reform legislations, the Land Use Law sought to achieve a number of political, economic and social objectives. The Land Use Law makes a modest attempt to redistribute property in land so as to achieve a wider measure of social justice and ha sought to tackle the economic ills associated with extreme fragmentation of farmland. In section 6, subsection 2, for example, the Land Use Law stipulates that for land not in an urban area, no single customary right of occupancy shall be granted in respect of an area in excess of 500 hectares for agricultural purpose or 5,000 hectares if granted for grazing purposes, except with the consent of the Governor.
With respect to underdeveloped land in an urban area, an individual holder is allowed to retain one plot or portion of land not exceeding half hectare in area if he is the holder of a statutory right of occupancy granted by the Governor to be under the law. All right in excess land being automatically vested in the Governor to be administered as provided in the law. A maximum of half hectare is allowed for each urban area. This is equivalent to about five large plots of 30 x 30 meters or ten small plots of the size commonly found in the large area of land in one city for one individual.
All developed land in urban and peri-urban areas are to continue to be held by the person to whom it was vested before the law became effective. The holder of such land is to treated as if he held a statutory right of occupation issued by the Governor under the law. He is however, expecting to apply formally for a Certificate of Occupation which the Governor is obliged to issue if he is satisfied that the holder had genuine claims to the land.
Section 6(1) of the law stipulates that it shall be lawful for a Local Government to grant customary right of occupation in respect of land not in an urban area. This means that some Local Government in large metropolitan areas such as Ibadan, Lagos and Kano cannot grant customary rights in land in any parts of the territory under their control, while some can only do so in peripheral areas outside the officially demarcated metropolitan or capital city boundaries. A local Government has power to acquire compulsorily and land in its area of jurisdiction for public purpose by revoking any customary rights of occupancy on such land, excepting land which is the subject of a statutory right of occupancy. The Local Government is required, in all cases, to allocate an alternative farmland to an occupier whose farmland has been compulsorily acquired.
What the Land Use Law mean to Nigerians
Twenty years after the Land Use was enacted, I carried out an appraisal of the Law in a survey to obtain the views of Nigerians on the general poor performance of the law. The persistent opposition to the Land Use Law by the Nigerian elite started when the Land Use Panel was set up in 1977. Such opposition has tended to give the impression that the Land Use Law is not a popular Law. This is far from the truth because the Land Use Decree at the onset was receive with fanfare by the urban working class in the hope that it will impact positively on the urban housing situation. Most newspapers carried headlines, articles and editorials from April to June 1978 that described the legislation as one of the “few major and positive achievement that the military administration had to its credits”.
Many people including some of the most ardent critics of the law, who understand the traditional land law system, in Nigeria, agree that the Land Use is a desirable law. Its objectives are generally sound, even though some of the provisions are considered by many to be undemocratic and unacceptable. The real and worrisome problem today is that the cost of land for development remains high and has continued to every year. Surprisingly many highly placed persons, some of whom refused to complete the questionnaire used for the 1997 appraisal survey of the Land Use Law, claimed that they did not know much about the law. And so we sought know what in fact the Land use Law means to the people.
Three statements were listed as possible meanings of the Land Use Law and each respondent was asked to indicate the meaning (s) that he/she associated with the law.
The statements proposed were: -
i) that the Government has taken over all land from the people
ii) that the State Governor has merely replaced the traditional rulers as trustees of the land and
iii) that plots of land still belong to those owned them before the degree of 1978 was promulgated.
The response from the sample population 525 is presented in Table 1.
Initially, many of the people who opposed the Land Use Law did so because they believed that government has taken over the land from the people, and that all lands therefore belonged to government. They survey showed that only about 39 per cent of the people interviewed gave this interpretation to the Law. Surprisingly, those who held the view that the Land Use Law did not affect land ownership per se came second, making up about per cent of the sample. A slightly less proportion (25 per cent) understood the law to mean that the State Governor has replaced the various traditional rulers in the state as the trustee for all lands in the state
Table b1” Interpretation of The land Use Degree
State (s) Government owns all land Governor replaces traditional ruler No change in ownership No views Total
Eastern 70 23 50 8 151
Western 81 59 78 25 243
Northern 78 34 28 14 154
Lagos 39 54 42 7 142
Total 263 (38.84%) 170 (24.64%) 198 (28.70%) 54 (7.83%) 690 (100%)
Source: Field Survey. Udo, R.K. 1997. Development Policy Center, Ibadan.
These figures happen to be very close to the findings of an earlier survey carried out in 1985, over ten years earlier. The 1985 survey (Table 2) was part of a larger study on Land Use and National Development in Nigeria, carried out by the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER).
The NISER survey covered seven out of the nineteen states that existed that time. Two of these states were in the north, three in the west and two in the east. One thousand respondents were interviewed. Thirty nine per cent of the responses understood the Land Use Law to mean that government has taken over all land while 28 per cent believed that the land still belong to the people. The remaining and slightly smaller proportion (27.5 per cent), understand the law to mean that the State Governor has taken over from traditional rulers the role of trustee of all lands in the state.
These three different interpretations of the law have certainly contributed to the current situation in which there is very title or no impact of the law either on the cultural landscape or in the management of land, especially in rural areas. Amongst other things, people have not felt the urge to apply for and obtain certificate of occupancy on personal or family land that was in effective occupation immediately before the commencement of the decree. Rather, such people have continued occupy and use the land as if there was no Land Use Law.
Table 2 respondent Understands of the Land Use Law
State (s) Govt. now owns all land Governor replaces traditional ruler Land still belongs to the owners and users No views
Anambra 40 42 50 18
Bendel 60 38 18 4
c. Rivers 51 86 6 7
Kaduna 67 15 61 7
Ondo 53 34 69 4
Oyo 59 31 21 9
Plateau 56 29 56 9
Total 386 (37%) 275 (27.5%) 281 (28%) 66 (6%)
Source: field Survey. NISER Research Policy. (Udo, R.K. 1987)
Government on its parts has made no concerted effort to push people to apply for and obtain certificates of occupancy. The manner of implementation of the law, especially in rural areas tends to support the view that the three meanings assigned to the decree are operationally right. The first meaning is right because the provisions on land acquisition, land allocation, compensation and land acquired for public purposes, and the crucial matter of the alienation of land by assignment, mortgage or sale; clearly state that the consent of the Governor must first be sought and received before such transactions. Indeed, the traditional devolution of rights in land upon death is also regulated while the standard practice of dividing land into two or more parts on devolution by the death of the occupier is restricted.
The second meaning, that the State Governor has merely replaced traditional rulers is also correct to a point. However, as Lord Lugard pointed out in respect of the Northern Nigeria Land proclamation Ordinance of 1910, rent is never paid to the Oba or other traditional rulers, under traditional land tenure systems. Finally, the third meaning, that the land still belong to those who owned and occupied them before the decree, is also in order; especially in rural areas, where the rules of customary land tenure continue to apply in spite of the Land Use Law.
Deficiencies and gaps in the Land Use Law
Many deficiencies and gaps exist in the Land Use Law as well as in earlier enactments and policy instruments on land acquisition and in the allocation of State lands to prospective developers. Some critics of the Land Use Law, notably lawyers, estate developers and traditional rulers as well as professional land speculators, however, appear to prefer the laws that existed before the Land Use Law. Opposition to the Law by these four groups of people started right from the time that the Land Use panel was set up in 1977. Their grouse is understandable since the Land Use Law has resulted in loss of income to them.
The first major deficiency in the Land Use Law is that it focuses on land tenure, not land use, in urban areas, with only passing references to rural land. Yet the vast majority of Nigerians live in rural areas. This fact is partly responsible for the situations in which after 30 years, the law has made little or no impact in rural areas. Indeed, except in Local Government Areas where governments have acquired large areas of land to establish educational and other institutions or airports, golf course, etc, the Land Use Law exists as a paper tiger.
Another major deficiency is in the control management of urban land. The State Governor controls and manages land in the state capital and other urban areas to the exclusion of local governments. This is not a neat situation, especially for Local Government Areas located in the core areas of large metropolitan areas. Each State is made up of Local Government Areas; and ideally all land, both urban and rural should be under the control and management of the Local Government where the land is located. The amendment proposed is that only land within the confines of the Capital Territory of each state should be controlled and administered by the State Government.
Other deficiencies identified in the Land Use Law include:
i) the inferior status of the customary certificate of occupancy viz a viz the statutory certificate of occupancy
ii) The issue of the consent of the Governor before land is transferred, assigned or mortgaged. This is considered unnecessary in respect of develop property and should therefore be restricted to un-developed property
iii) Revocation of Rights of Occupancy. This provision has been greatly abused by State governors. The case of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is so far the most despicable – the provision was flouted by FCT Administration which revoked rights on land allocated to Nigerians and illegally transferred rights on some land to the Administrator, members of his family, some friends, and surprisingly to the former Head of State who personally signed and promulgated the Decree.
iv) Payment of compensation on land acquired for public purposes
v) Payment of rent on land. Under the land Use Law, government holds land in trust for the people; just as the Oba, and other traditional rulers did in the past. But the traditional rulers did not charge rent on land. Should be government do so under the land use Law.
Implementation of the Land Use Law
The key actors involved in or affected by land reform legislation are (1) the government that initiates the land reform, (2) the group that owns or controls the land, and often suffers some loss as a result of the land reform and (3) the people who work on (or use) the land and who usually stand to gain from the land reform law. The group that initiates the land reform, made up of Governments, is also the group that is best equipped to implement the law. As observed by Hung-Choa Tai (1974), the extent (and therefore the success) of implement of any land reform law varies with the degree of political commitment of the ruling elite (that is the government).
As a rule, government is committed to a successful implementation of the land reform so as bring about better living conditions for rural dwellers. However, many members and high official of the Government usually come from or are closely associated with the landed aristocracy. The vested interest in land by such members or officials of the Government generally works to impede effective implementation of land reform legislation. The role played by this group is major factor responsible for the widening gap between the declared objectives of land reform laws and the realization of such objectives.
There are many problems that the staff of Government Ministries can invoke to interfere with speedy implementation of any land reform programme. These include the lack of base maps, shortage of technicians (land officers) on land registration, shortage of land surveyors and lack of funds. Conflict and lack of cooperation between the key Ministries of Agriculture and natural resources, Works and Housing, Information, Finance and Local Government have caused considerable delays in the implementation of many land reform programmes, including that of Japan and the Land Use Law of Nigeria.
Although the Land Use Law is a national law, the implementing authorities are the State Government because Nigeria is a federation of States even though the political elite finds it convenient and beneficial to it to administer the country as a unitary polity. The low level impact of the Land Use Law, especially in the rural areas is largely due to the nonchalant attitude of government officials administering the law. The Obasanjo Administration that enacted the Land Use Degree 1978, had a strong political commitment to see through a successful implementation of the Law, but he had to hand over power to a civilian President about a year after the law came into force. Unfortunately, the Shagari Administration that succeeded him lacked the political will to implement the law. Rather by 1980, the law had become a dead letter and there were several moves that sought to abrogate it.
The Future of the land Use Law
The land use law is a unique and extremely conciliatory land reform law. It does not involve the confiscation of any developed property. There is no provision for the payment of compensation for undeveloped land, since such land remains open for the use of the local inhabitants, subject to control by their Local Government as provided in the law. The main reason why the land Use Law has not been felt by most Nigerians is that no time limit was set for occupiers of land to obtain certificates of occupancy. Rather people have continued to sell land as if the law did not exist. Many Nigerians therefore consider the Land Use Law to be an ineffective land law, while others describe it as failed land policy legislation.
The Future of the Land Use Law
The land use law is a unique and extremely conciliatory land reform law. It does not involve the confiscate of any developed property. There is no provision for the payment of compensation for undeveloped land, since such land remains open for the use of the local inhabitants, subject to control by their Local Government as provided in the law. The main reason why the Land Use Law has not been felt by most Nigerians is that no time limit was set for occupiers of land to obtain certificates of occupancy. Rather people have continued to sell land as if the law did not exist. Many Nigerians therefore consider the Land Use Law to be an ineffective land law, while others describe it as failed land policy legislation.
As far as the governments of Nigeria are concerned, the position today, as in the past thirty years is that the Land Use Law is functioning well. This is so because governments can always acquire the land needed for development at much less cost, especially in the southern states, than in the past. Families whose land have been compulsorily acquired since 1979, do not need anyone to sell them the Land Use Law is very much alive and kicking. Over the years, State Governors, military and civilian, have greatly abused their powers over the allocation of plots in urba areas and in the revocation of certificates of occupancy held by political opponents. Such abuses, along with shoddy and corrupt practices by lands officers resulting in great delays in obtaining certificates of occupancy have greatly increased the number of people opposed to the law.
So what is the future of the Land Use law? My view at the December 1991 National workshop organized by the Nigerian Law Reform Commission for the reform of the Land Use Act was that Land Use Law has come to stay. The law is thirty three years old in 2011, and there is no doubt that it will retained, even if in a “modified form. The Land Use Law is a basic law and must survive, whether or not it is a part the Constitution of Nigeria. If any government, be it a civilian dictatorship or a right wing military regime, succeeds in jettisoning the law for a while, one of the charges against such a government when it is eventually overthrown will be that it sought to cheat the Nigerian people by revoking the Land Use Law.
*Professor Emeritus, Reuben Udoh is the Dean, faculty of Social Sciences, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Amassoma, bayelsa State Nigeria
1. Lagos (1970) Degree 6- Land Use Degree 1978). The federal Ministry of Information Lagos.
2. Lagos (1975), Third National Development Plan (1975-78), Federal Ministry Innformation. Lagos. Vol. 1 page 292.
3. Tai, Hung-Choa (1974), Land Reform and Politics. University of California Press
4. Uchendu, (1978) State, Land and Society in Nigeria. A Critical Assessment of the Land Degree, Journal of African Studies Vol. 6 pp. 62-74.
5. Udo, R.K. (1975), migrant Tenant Farmers of Nigeria African Universities Press Lagos.
6. Udo, R.K. (1980) Land policy for Efective Management of the National Economy. Ibadan University Press. Ibadan pp 30.
7. Udo, R.K. (1987), Land Acquisition and Land Allocation Constraints on Developments Before and After the Land Use Degree, 1978; Olaore, G.A. (ed). (1978). Land and National Development in Nigeria. NISER Research Report Ibadan pp. 30-129
8. Udo, R.K. (1990), Land Use policy and Land Ownership in Nigeria. Ebieakwa Ventures, 12 Aba Road, Ikot Ekpene
LAND VALUES- THE BAYELSA EXPERIENCE
A PAPER PRESENTED BY MOSES A. TEIBOWEI, CHAIRMAN, BAYELSA STATE CHAPTER OF THE NIGERIAN INSTITUTION OF ESTATE SURVEYORS AND VALUERS AT A ONE NIGER DELTA CONFERENCE/LECTURE AT NIGER DELTA UNIVERSITY (NDU) WILBERFORCE ISLAND, AMASSOMA ON LAND OWNERSHIP, HOUSING COST AND THE PROSPERITY PARADOX ON 3RD MARCH, 2011, ORGANISED BY AFRICA CENTRE FOR GEOCLASSICAL ECONOMICS (A NON PROFIT ORGANISATION).
LAND: land is a very special factor of production. It is so important that people tend to give land several meanings and interpretations. Land in itself means different thing to different people depending upon their outlook, perspective and interest at that time.
The new 7th Edition Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines it as ‘’an area of ground, especially of a particular type or used for a particular purpose.
Land refers to the surface of the earth and anything below or above it. It also means titles or rights to Land that is acquisition, possession, enjoyment and disposition of Land.
It is important to state a merged definitions of economic and legal concepts of land as the sum total of the national and man-made resources over which possession of the earth’s surface, water and ice as well as ground in addition to building sites, farm soil, growing forest, mineral deposits and water resources, it also involves such natural phenomena as access to light, sunlight, rain, wind and changing temperatures and location with respect to markers and other areas. It includes all those man-made improvements that are attached to the surface of the earth and cannot be easily separated from it.
2.0 IMPORTANCE OF LAND
The importance of land cannot be over-emphasized. Land is so important and significant that individuals, societies and nations depend on it. Throughout history and civilization, land is known to remain the most important asset of any individual, community or society. Without land, the production and utilization of economic wealth cannot be contemplated. It is as a result of its importance that issue of control and exploitation of land has therefore determined the nature and extent of most societies today.
All wars fought in the world war over are as a result of land. The Falk land issue between Great Britain and Argentina is a clear case in point. Palestinians want a homeland, Iraqis wants the control and utilization of their oil and wealth emanating there form. Israelites want territorial control of the Promised Land. Zimbabwean Government was widely criticized and also sanctioned by the commonwealth for introducing land reform measures that reduced drastically the quantum of land holding in the hands of foreign farmers. The people of Niger Delta are agitating for resource control from the Federal Government. The list is endless.
The above scenario gives a lucid central position of land relative to mankind and it became imperative to control the use and utilization of land to meet the need and aspiration of man cannot be overstated. It is in recognition of the above that Decree NO. 6 of 1978 commonly referred to as the Land Use Act of 1978 aptly describes the need and justification for that law as follows:-
‘’ whereas, it is the public interest that the rights of all Nigerians to the land of Nigeria be asserted and preserved by law: and whereas it is also to the public interest that the rights of all Nigerians to use and enjoy Land in Nigeria and the natural fruits thereof in sufficient quantity to enable them to provide for the maintenance of themselves and their families should be assured, protected and preserved’’.
3.0 BAYELSA STATE
Bayelsa state was created by General Sani Abacha regime on 1st October, 1996, out from the Rivers State. The state is made up of Eight Local Government Areas and its land mass is blessed with arable land good for cultivation of food and cash crops while greater percentage of it, is of mangrove vegetation. The wetlandsof the state is the hub of oil wells that produces the income that sustains the economy of the country. The state transformed from a rural status to an urban one, especially the state capital by that singular act or action of creation in 1996. The state capital witnessed an influx of people and the demand for land increased tremendously. The implication of massive demand for land by individuals, companies, corporate bodies and Government for various uses such as residential, commercial, industrial, movement of land values or prices in Yenagoa and its environs. While there is great demand, the supply remained fixed and because of the nature of the environment, some areas that are swampy are ignored in view of the enormous cost that will be required to sandfill the land to make it viable for development purposes.
4.0 LAND VALUES IN BAYELSA STATE
Land values in Bayelsa state viewed against the backdrop of poverty pervading in the state is a serious issue. The question I will try to answer is whether land has value in the true context of it with reference to our laws in Nigeria. The known forms of title to ownership of land is the statutory Right of Occupancy and the Deemed Customary Right of Occupancy as provided for in the Land use Act, 1978 (CAP 202) Laws of Federation of the Nigeria 1990. Section 29 of the Act specifically deals with the issue of compensation:
In the event of renovation of a right of occupancy, compensation is to be paid for the land,
(a) For an amount equal to the rent, if any, paid by the occupier during the year in which the right of occupancy is revoked.
(b) Buildings, installations or improvements thereon, for the amount of the replacement cost of the building, installation or improvement, that is to say, such cost as may be assessed on the basis of the prescribed method of assessment as determined by the appropriate officer less any depreciation, together with interest at the bank rate for delayed payment of compensation and in respect of any improvement in the nature of reclamation works, being such cost thereof as may be substantial by documentary evidence and proof to the satisfaction of the appropriate officer.
(c) Crops on land apart from any building, installation or improvement thereon, for an amount equal to the value as prescribed and determined by the appropriate officer.
It is quite evident from the above that land does not have any value as the law did not make provision for the determination of the Open Market value of Land but recognized the rental value or ground rent. That is the crux of the matter and issue of poverty will continue to pervade the people in view of the obnoxious law that deprives the people from obtaining the true value of God wealth. That also explains the reason why oil prospecting companies will acquire an hectare of land in Bayelsa State and pay compensation to the maximum amount of one million, five hundred thousand only, based on the so called OPTS rates as prepared by Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The reason is that the value of land is not considered in what should be paid to the people despite what the oil firm or Oil Company will generate from the land.
4.1 NATIVE LAND
I want to refer to rural land as the native land, which the natives who are deemed to have a customary right of occupancy places value on the land with regard to the economic situation and the forces of demand and supply. In essence, the land has open market value or capital value and not rental value as what the natives sell is in line with the maxim quicguid plantatur solo, solo cedit. That is (whatever is affixed to the soil belongs thereto). The natives sell the land including the economic trees and crops, ponds etc on the economic trees and crops for the purpose of carrying out development on the land without recourse to the original owner.
So it is obvious that land itself does not have capital value when it is acquired by government for overriding public interest and so it is not paid for by government. The natives obtain the open market value of land when a sale is transacted which is also recognized by Government in the form of acceptance of Deed of Conveyance or Assignment for the preparation of a statutory of occupancy for the benefit of the purchaser.
The Government collected about seven percent of the consideration as fee to be paid in the processing of the documents for the purpose of consent by the governor of the state.
Reasonable amount of income is generated through such consent fees by the Government from applicants of statutory right of occupancy. What is wrong, is Government depriving the people from the open market value of land when land is required and compulsory acquired by Government for overriding public interest.
4.1 LAND VALUES IN YENAGOA.
Yenagoa is the capital of Bayelsa State. Yenagoa was a local government headquarters until 1st October, 1996, when the status, Land values have also changed dramatically.
It is important to highlight Land values in some selected locations in Yenagoa and its environs. It is also not out of place to state unequivocally that the value of land is basically influenced by its location and nearness to availability of basic infrastructure such as goo road network, drainage facilities, public mains water and electricity.
4.1.1 EKEKI LOW DENSITY
The Ekeki Low Density is a Government Reserved Area (GRA) which land was acquired in 1999 for overriding public interest by the Edoor Obi administration in 1999. Specially sixty seven plots only were created in the layout and allocated with certificates of occupancy signed and issued to all allottees. All road networks were constructed with inter-locking stones and drainages provided and covered with slabs within the layout by Chief D.S.P Alamieyeseigha’s administration. The layout is the best developed residential layout in Yenagoa, with the best of houses.
The minimum plot size in the layout is 1,600 m2 and the open market value of land is in the region of Ten million Naira and above.
4.2.2 TOP GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONARIES LAYOUT OR G.R.A PHASE II, KPANSIA
The area of the G.R.A phase 2, is along Isaac Boro Road. The land was acquired from families in kpansia during the regime of Chief D.S.P Alamieyeseigha and the layout prepared to cover about (100) one hundred plots which sizes ranges from 1,500m2 to 2,400m2. About 50% of road network and drainages are provided within the layout. The value of land also ranges from N5 million naira to N10 million naira within the layout.
4.2.3 MBIAMA/YENAGOA ROAD (CHIEF MELFORD OKILO ROAD)
These stretch of this road is the commercial hub of yenagoa metropolis of the value of land is determined by the forces of demand and supply as there are no laid down plot sizes. Landlords/owners capitalize on proven opportunity to place value on their land and in some instances dilapidated existing old buildings to sell and obtain the best and highest use of land to pay a willing price for the land.
4.2.4 SANI ABACHA ROAD AND ISAAC BORO ROAD
These two roads were constructed in 1999 and 2000 by the Federal Government of Nigeria as primary roads in Yenagoa. The value of land along Sani Abacha road within the Central Business District is in the region of Five Million Naira (N5 million) and above while the value of land as measured in the native form goes for N2 Million and above. The CBD has average plot size of 1500 m2.
4.2.5 OPOLO/ ELEBELE ROAD
A native plot of land which is about 465 m2- 500 m2 goes for N1 million-N2 million depending on the location whether it is a stable land or swampy land.
4.2.6 NEW KPANSIA TOWN
The new Kpansia town otherwise known as kpansia 2, is an area designed by the Kpansia Community and allocated by the people amongst themselves for residential property development. A plot size is about 465 m2 and goes for Five Hundred Thousand to Eight Hundred Thousand Naira depending on the area. The plots close to Opolo /Elebele road command higher values. The road networks were cleared by the combined efforts of the leadership of the community. The area is yet to experience Government patronage in terms of provision of basic infrastructures.
4.2.7 YENADA ESTATES 1&2
The Yenada Estate 1 along Isaac Boro Road and Yenada Estate 2 along Sani Abacha Road by Bayelsa Palm Estate was designed by the Urban and Regional Planning Department of Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. It was prepared as an incentive and encouragement to the people for the acquisition of their lands for Okaka Housing Estate and the proposed housing estate by the Federal Housing Authority. Plot sizes ranges from 465m2 and land values ranges from N500,000 – N1,000,000.00 on both estates. Like Kpansia 2 estate, the two layouts are yet to benefit from the state government in terms of provision of basic infrastructures.
4.2.8 OTHER AREAS OR ENVIRONS
As a result of the influx of people to Yenagoa, land is demanded in areas like Igbogene, Agudama, Akenfa, Edepie, Elebele, Otuasega, Emeyal, Imiringi, Otuokpoti and Azikoro areas of the State. The underlying factor that determines the values of land is the location and availability of basic infrastructures.
From the above presentation, it is clear that any land required by Government for overriding public interest in Bayelsa State as in any other State does not have open market value. Those who are deemed to have a customary right of occupancy do not have any right to demand for the full value of their land. The same land, if sold by the natives gives them the full value of their land and that value is recognized by Government for the generation of income to the Government.
The value of land is greatly enhanced if additional improvements are made on the land in the form of provision of basic infrastructure which is the sole responsibility of the Government. Hence, the provision of roads and drainages in Ekeki low Density and G. R. A Phase 2 have impacted significantly on the land values in those areas while the layouts prepared by the natives without the basic infrastructures command lower land values.
The prosperity of a people is dependent on the actions and inactions of Government. To reduce poverty significantly, Government must create the enabling environment for the people to make the best and judicious use of their assets which includes land. Government should therefore amend the repulsive aspects of land Use Act of 1978 as demanded by the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers and other stakeholders in the Landed profession.
Thank you all.
MOSES A. TEIBOWEI
Mr. Moses Teibowei is the Chairman of the Bayelsa State Chapter of Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers. He is also the Acting Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa State Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
A BRIEF ADDRESS ON THE MANDATE OF THE CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHROITY (With Emphasis on Land Admin.)
Paper presented by
Hon. Ebiowei Doukpolagha
Executive Secretary, Bayelsa State capital City Development Authority.
The Yenagoa capital city development authority was created by the state assembly in 2006 and full operations kicked in by 2007.
The original mandate of the authority was to provide a city master plan and establish the process of implementation going by the following guide lines.
Provide the framework for infrastructural development in the capital city in line with the Yenagoa master plan.
Ensure orderly development of the capital city through the co-ordination of the activities of individuals and MDAs
Up-grade rural areas within Yenagoa city to modern city status.
Development of the CBD
Preparation of layout plans for individual, commercial and residential land uses
Thus the following departments were created to manage the work force;
1. Survey department
2. Acquisition department
3. Land allocation department
4. Urban and regional planning/development control department
5. Enforcement and demolition
THE YENAGOA MASTER PLAN
A master plan is a simple document which can also be described as a development strategy. The following studies must be executed to have a reliable master plan:
a. Environmental Impact Assessment
b. Boundary establishment
c. Demographic projection
d. Topographic survey
e. Metrological studies
f. Energy and power supply projection Etc.
It is important to mention that it’s quite a tedious process to develop a master plan from the conception stage to the design and implementation stage. However
Bayelsa state is proud to introduce a master plan designed for the city of Yenagoa and signed into law by His Excellency Chief Timipre Sylva in 2007
THE MASTER PLAN (YENAGOA CAPITAL CITY DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY AND IMPLEMENTATION)
The master plan is the key or reference book for all other physical, social, industrial economic, political etc. developments in Yenagoa city. It is the city’s bible which serves as a veritable guide towards the development of the city in a conducive environment. It has a projection time frame of approximately 20 years to accomplish its set out objectives.
By establishing characteristic urban districts with each of the city districts, so designated, offering a balance of different land uses and services.
There are eight urban districts set out in the master plan implementation strategy-Azikoro Area and Urban Extension Area.
YENAGOA LAND USE BUDGET
- Residential areas
- Commercial areas (CBD)
- Industrial areas
- Mixed uses
All the aforementioned areas are specified/ highlighted in the Master Plan. It is pertinent for proper ground survey to be done in order to arrive at the exact land budget allocation specification.
Now let’s zero in on the most important ingredient of implementing a master plan, which is the control of a scarce and valuable commodity called land.
It is important to note a few things about land and the laws upon which land administration is based.
Land Use Act (29th March 1978)
1. Relevant sections
a. Section 1: Vest all land comprised in each state in the Governor of the state.
- By this it means the Governor or an officer appointed in that respect is the chief land administrator.
- The Governor has the right to acquire land for over-riding public interest.
b. Section 2: The Governor is to set up land use and allocation committee to advise him on land matters and to settle disputes bordering on land-use
c. Section 22: The Governor consent is required for mortgages and assignment.
d. Section 28L the Governor has the Authority to revoke statutory Right of Occupancy for over-riding public interest.
e. Section 29: Requires payment of compensation for such revocation
f. Section 45: Governor may delegate his functions to the officer in charge of land.
g. Section 33: For the acquisition of developed property, the Governor may either pay compensation or re-settle the affected party with alternate accommodation.
2. Land as a Tool for Economic Development.
C of O is used as co-lateral for loan facilities in executing development projects.
3. Importance of Operating an Effective Land Administration System.
a. Easy land title documentation process via land registration.
b. Proper identification of land parcels
c. Promote efficient land market
d. Protect land ownership rights
e. Effective service delivery
f. Enhances city beauty when land uses are properly placed
DIFFERENT SIZES OF LANDS ALLOCATED
The residential low density plots
Residential medium density plots
Residential high density plots
How to process your land title documents in CCDA
Write a formal letter requesting for Governors consent of C of O
Attach your customary titles obtained from the native land owners
Wait for 22 days publication on a national newspaper
Obtain payment advice and pay process fess to CCDA
Governor’s signature after 30 days
C of O ready for collection.
4. About 350 singed C of O signed by Governor Sylva so far
ADVICE ALL PROPECTIVE LAND OWNERS,
1. Please remember to consult the capital city development authority regarding the acquisition of land from any individual or organization in Yenagoa
2. Please remember to apply for a building permit before embarking on any kind of development be it temporary or permanent.
As failure to obtain development permit will result to demolition of your structure and a fine.
Thanks you for your time and May God bless Great people of Bayelsa state.