Buying a 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 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 belong 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 are lands under Government acquisition. This means the
Government has plans for these lands.
On the other hand, government committed lands are land which 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. Firms like Rural Homes 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 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 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.