How to Get C of O in Nigeria.
Firstly, all land belongs to the Nigerian Government according to the Constitution. That means that every Nigerian is a tenant of the Nigerian Government. Even if you bought a property for 1 Billion Naira, it still belongs to the Government.
The Chagoury brothers, the Nigerian-born Lebanese billionaires bought bar beach in Lagos and turned it to an artificial peninsula called Eko Atlantic. The land still belongs to the Nigerian Government and not to them. That is, you acquire useless water front, turn into a mega city that will employ 250,000 Nigerians and boost the local economy; still the land does not belong to you. That is the implication of the Nigerian constitution on land ownership.
Just imagine you buy 500 sqm from Eko Atlantic, which is at least 360M (2015 data) if it is NOT by a road. Since Eko Atlantic is still within Nigeria, your 360M land belongs to the Federal Government.
‘Occupancy’, not ‘Ownership’
What the C of O implies is that the Government has given you that piece of land to occupy. Note that it is not to own, but to occupy. It is called Certificate of Occupancy, not of ownership. Usually, the duration is for 99 years. After this duration, you are expected to reapply. The constraint is in the fact that only the State Governor of your state signs the C of O.
In Akwa Ibom State, for example, Governor Victor Attah did sign a good number of C of Os. His successor, Senator Godswill Akpabio signed less than 100 in his 8 years of governance. The present Governor has prioritized signing for Foreign Direct Investments. This means that there are probably hundreds if not thousands of applications awaiting his signature.
Probably due to their busy schedules, the state governors hardly endorse C of Os. A second explanation is not far from the policy thrust of each governor. In Lagos State and the FCT, Real Estate development is big business. In those cities along with Ogun State, the private sector is encouraged to drive the sector. This makes the Governors prioritize the issuance of C of Os more than is done in other states.
Lagos is so advanced in this regard that they have initiated an electronic C of O acquisition process.
How To Get C of O in Lagos
To obtain Certificate of Occupancy in Lagos, the following documents are required:
- Land information certificate
- Receipt for land information fee
- Receipt for application form
- Publication/inspection fee
- Capital contribution (calculated based on size and location of land)
- Land purchase receipt/agreement (duly stamped)
- Copy of current tax clearance certificate (individuals)
- Copy of N100 development levy receipt
- Site location sketch
- Four passport photographs of applicant with white background
- Copy of approved building plan (if developed)
- Copy of tenement rate receipt (if occupied) or Land Use Charge
- Cover letter addressed to the Executive Secretary, Land Use Allocation Committee (LUAC), stating all documents attached, as above and typed with applicant’s address
To learn about the complete process of applying for the C of O and the specific fees, check the Side Brief website. Click here;