• Owning land in Lagos can be seen as a good business venture as well as a wise futuristic investment
  • Most times, while eager to purchase land in Lagos, people overlook tell tale signs of forgery and fraud in the excitement of becoming a land owner.
  • This article will help guide you on how to purchase land with genuine realtors assisting you to work with honest people who want to sell their land without discrepancies

Lagos is the business hub of Nigeria and the economic capital of the most powerful country in Africa. It is interesting to note that Lagos state is the most populated state in Nigeria, as its economic viability makes it so attractive to millions of Nigerians who migrate there for business and other greener pastures.

Land in Lagos is….

One of the most sought after assets in Lagos is land. Getting deed of ownership over a land or property in Lagos confers on the individual some measure of competitive advantage, as he/she can become financially stable in time via this goldmine.

It is however important to note that land acquisition is a very tricky business and this can be attributed to the encumbrance viz a viz title ownership, family squabble, circumstances associated with it.

Knowledge of Lagos land-Deep dive

Omo-Onile

The omo-oniles are generally regarded as the indigenes or sons of the soil who want to take advantage over those who acquire lands for development in Lagos. They are also referred to as land grabbers who want to take advantage through violence and other means to dispossess innocent people of their hard earned land and property.

The actions of these notoriously dangerous group of people has become a recurring decimal in land issues in Lagos, as most people are scared of investing their money in land that they would eventually lose.

Barrister Matthew Ottah, a legal practitioner while quoting relevant sections of the law to drive home government’s intention to eliminate the activities of omonile titled “Law to prohibit forceful entry and occupation of landed properties ,violent and fraudulent conducts in relation to landed properties in Lagos “ stated that any Omo-Onile or land seller that disrupts work because the buyer refused to pay foundation or roofing fees, such omonile or seller is liable to a fine of N200,000 or be imprisoned for 2 months or both.

He emphasized on the need for government to match the law with actions to avoid Omonile from brushing aside these laws and continuing to wrecking havoc without facing the repercussions of their evil deeds.

Government intervention

The Lagos state government in full knowledge of the importance of removing any obstacles to land developers and genuine investors came to the rescue. They enacted the Land grabbing prohibition law in 2016 as a deterrent to the illegal activities of Omo-Oniles. Offenders are set to be given 21 years jail term with the passage of this bill into law by the Lagos state government. This noble gesture has withered down the activities of these illegal groups and positively affected the economic development of the state.

Coronation Research

On how to buy a land without being cheated..

When you have an intention of purchasing a land, in any part of the world,its a given that you don’t run wild; investigations must be made, verification processes must be followed to avoid issues that may result in fraud, delay or multiple disagreements. Applying Caveat Emptor- Buyer Beware must be duly followed in the real sense of the word..Do not just rush in, employ the help and assistance of experts; lawyers, Surveyor, real estate agents etc..It pays to be cautious. Below are some steps you have to follow to ensure you do not get cheated. The list isn’t conclusive , but its a start;

Running a search and other verification process.

Running a search is cumbersome especially if you do not understand land technicalities. Your search should be focused on areas with future development and growth potential. Lands in such areas are usually cheap and affordable. One must also verify that the land is devoid of any encumbrances and government acquisition.You have to go to the States Ministry of Lands and Survey to conduct a search to ascertain the legal title owner of the land you intend to buy

Having an experienced Lawyer or real Estate Agent assist you in this regard will be helpful in ensuring a successful verified process. The presence of an online database of lands available for sale would have made it easier.

Fortunately ,Real Estate and property development companies have simplified the search and verification process by doing it on behalf of the client and making the process free of fraud and complexity .

Paying for the land

After search and verification is satisfactorily concluded and copies of documents of the land have been confirmed okay, you proceed to the ministry of land and survey Alausa for charting and once you are satisfied with the results, you go ahead to make payment.

On the other hand, if you buy from a registered Real estate company, the process is made less burdensome as all the technical details that has to do with the land including it’s charting has already been done on behalf of the client.

All you do is select a plot of your choice and fill the necessary documents which will enable them process your land title. You thereafter make payment to the company bank account.

Registering Title

Lagos State ministry of lands at Alausa is in charge of registering titles of every land within Lagos State . Survey plans, registered conveyance, registered deed of assignment and certificate of occupancy are the various approved titles every land owner must ensure he/she has intact.

Dr Eromosele Anthony Irabor, a real estate consultant with EUC Homes Lagos has this to say: “I always advice my clients to go for a land that has the best duly registered and approved title “

Securing the asset

After making payments and getting the necessary land title, it is important to secure the land to avoid encroachment. Mrs Yvonne, an expert in Real estate and properties, based in Lagos, said when asked about how best to secure an asset;

It is very essential to fence your land and start raising the foundation as proof of ownership immediately after making payments. This will help secure your asset and scare away potential intruders”.

Putting up a structure to avoid land grabbers

The activities of land grabbers who go about looking for already acquired lands that have not been secured should not be toyed with.

After fencing and foundation work has been done, it is best to gradually start putting up a structure to send a strong message to land grabbers. The first step is to mold as many blocks as possible that can take the structure from foundation to lintel level. It is a phase by phase project especially for those with limited funds. Get to make an estimate of how much the type of structure you are planning to put up will cost and start as soon as you can.

Cost implication of purchasing a land in Lagos and getting title.

Two major factors determine the cost of land in Lagos. First is the location of the land while the second is the presence or absence of title of land. For example, Mrs Yvonne confirmed a sale she made six months ago involving a plot of land 100 by 60 feet.

That is 600sqm that went for N550,000 in Ibeju lekki. She mentioned that the fact that the land only had a survey plan made it cheap.

Three years ago she confirmed sale of plots of lands with C of O going for between N2.7 million to N3 million. The same plots of lands now go for as high as N5.5 million within Ibeju lekki

There are lands with registered title documents already, which is safer to invest in or buy out rightly. One determinant in the choice of land in Lagos is your budget and the location where you may wish to acquire the land. Presently, the most viable location to acquire land in Lagos State is Ibeju Lekki. The prices range from N2 Million to N30 Million depending on how close the land is to Dangote Refinery, Petrochemical and International airport.

What makes Ibeju Lekki an Investors Haven?

In comparison to other notable places like Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Banana Island and Lekki Phase one, Ibeju Lekki has all the potentials of becoming an investor haven. In the 70’s for instance, a plot of land in Ikoyi was sold for N2 Million, but the current rate is as high as N300 Million.

The smart investors who acquired land in Ikoyi then are now reaping huge dividends on their investments. The case of Victoria Island is similar, as far back as in the 80’s a plot of land was sold for N5 Million, but today, same dimension of land is sold for as high as N150 Million.

Lekki phase one was seen as a potential location for investors in the 90’s and few investors risked their hard earned cash on acquiring land in the fast growing Lekki phase one back then. A plot of land then was sold for N2 Million, but today same plot of land is as high as N100 Million and above. Smart investors took advantage when these locations didn’t attract any international project at that time. Their incisive decision soon paid off as they made over 500% profit on their initial investment after just a few years.

Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and other legal issues

One of the advantages of acquiring land in Ibeju Lekki, is that one can get to buy from reputable Real Estate companies like EUC Homes, who has acquired massive plots of land within the Ibeju Lekki zone. What makes it even more interesting is that once payments are made, the C of O documents and the deed of ownership as well as other relevant documents are issued to the purchaser.

It is worthy to note that mortgage refinancing is also available for those who qualify for such facilities and this option is very attractive and less burdensome for those who can’t make bulk payment.

The standard dimension for most lands in Lagos state is 120 by 60. The average plot of land goes from N18 Million and above depending on how close they are to the International business hubs cropping up all over Ibeju Lekki

On good and viable land, Now what?

It is important to note that land acquisition is based on the potential for future development and the proximity to areas where access to basic infrastructure can be easily deployed. Based on these parameters, any serious investor should look out for lands in these three locations:

  • Ibeju Lekki
  • Badagry Express
  • Akute

These three locations are hot places to look out for, but for strategic reasons, I would recommend Ibeju Lekki. As at today, the number of international projects already lined up to commence in that zone, makes it viable for investors to acquire.These projects are;

  • Dangote Refinery
  • Lekki Free trade Zone
  • Lekki Epe International airport
  • Dangote private jetty
  • Lekki sea port
  • Pan African University

On a final note, I will suggest one patronizes a reputable Property/real estate company to ease or lower the risk level. This will also afford the individual various refinance options and ensure all documents are genuine and free of encumbrances.

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