Buying land in places like Abuja, Lagos among other big cities in Nigeria may seem demanding because of the steps and procedures one must undergo before the transfer of ownership can be successfully completed.
The best and fastest way to avoid the legal and bureaucratic hurdle involved is by consulting the services of a good real estate agency as they know their way around all the presumably difficult steps.
To begin, you have to understand that all the lands in the metropolis and outskirt areas of Abuja belongs to the federal government. The government then confers the authority to two agencies called Federal Capital Development Agency (FCDA) and Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) to oversee all land affairs and regulations within Abuja jurisdiction.
AGIS is responsible for generation, management and administration of geospatial and land-related matters in Abuja which include handling of data capture, processing, and computerization of land-related departments and customer services such as billing and revenue collection.
There are two types of lands in Abuja which are FCDA land and Area Council land. Area Council lands were initially allocated by the chairman of each area council until the responsibility becomes that of the FCT minister. The minister is currently the sole authority involved in the allocation of land that was initially under the two aforementioned councils.
As a prospective land buyer in Abuja, you should understand that some lands are under government acquisition while others are government committed lands. Lands acquired by the Government for its specific use is lands under Government acquisition. This means the government has plans for these lands.
On the other hand, government committed lands are land which the government will never sell or give to any individual. Examples of these lands are land designated for pipelines, roads, government estates, government schools etc. Any individual who violates and erect a structure on this kind of land will eventually have his structure demolished and charged to court.
To acquire a land in Abuja, you may necessarily need to consult experts in the field to give advice or render a professional assistance. Real Estate Firms like Rural Homes Ltd have at their disposal, collection of professionals who can handle the whole process of purchase of land and development of property on your behalf.
The following are the major steps you need to go through to successfully acquire a land in any part of Abuja:
1). Confirming the actual size of the land:
Though allocation papers usually include the size of the concerned land. Most times, they are not accurate. The actual size of a land is usually contained in the Technical Deeds plan produced by a surveyor. If the land you are purchasing already has a Technical Deed Plan you can go ahead with the next action.
2). Get a Surveyor to take you around the land using the coordinates contained in the TDD:
This is especially important if you are acquiring a large piece of land which can’t be
assessed from close range. The importance of this is to make sure the land is in good
condition and does not contain any unusable surface.
3). Run a background check at the Local Area Council:
This search helps you know the status of the land. If it’s in the city’s master plan, already sold to someone or free for acquisition, this is where you will find out. It is also advisable to double check about the land with AGIS.
4). Register with AGIS:
You can proceed to register the land after you might have double checked that it has no present owner. The payment of the necessary fee will warrant you a receipt which is your Right of Occupancy. Immediately after occupying this document, you can proceed with an application for Certificate of Occupancy (C of O).
5. Payment of compensation:
Though the federal government is the present owner of all lands in Abuja, those lands had owners before the Government acquired them. In order to complete the acquisition stage, you will need to pay a compensation fee to the initial owners of the land.
Usually, the value of a land depends on the number of economic trees present on it. Once again, you will need the assistance of one who has gone through this process countless times in order to avoid running into complications.
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