Buying Land

Buying land can be a very harrowing experience for many Nigerians in diaspora. This is a process that should be evry straight forward but unfortunately is fraught with so many dangers and issues in Nigeria esspecially in the urban areas like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.



The lack of a structured information gathering mechanism for verifying title and ownership, misrepresentation, fake documents, and above all weak administration of justice has made this a no-go area for many Nigerians.



To buy or develop a landed property in Nigeria, particularly in the urban areas like Lagos, you need to be extremely careful, never underrate the need for due diligence. There are some precautions you need to take when buying/developing a landed property, here are some of the things you need to do to get things right;



First of all you need to consult a core property Lawyer: He has the experience, so he knows how to deal and relate with these guys, inform him of your plans of acquiring a portion of land that belongs to an omo-onile.  After proper site inspection and the said portion of land has met your desired requirements, then be ready for the next step.



Get a land surveyor to the site with your Lawyer: To read the co-ordinate of the said plot with his GPS (Global positioning System) and other instruments, compare the coordinate readings with the ones in the land survey if there is a copy already. If it corresponds, then your Lawyer/Agent should go to Alausa with a copy to make research to be sure if the land is under Government acquisition or not; if it is not, then feel free to move to the next stage.



Your Lawyer again is to make sure that all paper work is being done properly: The land survey, Deeds of Assignment, Land receipt, Certificate of Occupancy and Government consent should be prepared. Omo-oniles are usually afraid of Lawyers who know their job very well. Apart from other benefits that you will get from your Lawyer, He is going to make sure that all families and omo-onile heads involved in the said land transaction endorse their signatures for proper documentation. If all these have been achieved then you will be rest assured that your property is safe.



Before you start developing, you must still get your lawyer to negotiate and settle with the omo-onile of that locality/constituency: To avoid waste of materials during your perimeter fencing, and preparation of your foundation. During these periods, if not well handled they could beat up and harass your workers on site. Also, when it gets to lintel, decking, and roofing level they will surely show up to visit your site.  Even after roofing some groups may still come to your site claiming they are community Development Association.



There are troubles upon trouble that can extend your project beyond the estimated time frame, so it is better your lawyer meets up with the omo-onile head in that locality/constituency and ask for settlement terms once and for all and get the original receipt for you. Once this is achieved you will see that these omo-oniles will end up being your friends and help you secure your materials on site.



In summary, err on the side of caution.