Frequently asked questions when buying land in Nigeria

So you’ve decided to get yourself a plot of land? Congrats! This is a major investment decision, especially because of the prestige attached to owning a home or land, and also because of the cost involved in this major project.

Now you’re likely to be investing for either of two reasons:

1. You are buying the plot of land to construct your personal building. i.e. You are ready to be a landlord, as it is popularly termed.
2. You are purchasing the land for investment purpose. i.e. Build to rent out or to resell in the nearest future.
In this write-up, I’ll talk about the ‘5 frequently asked questions when buying land in Nigeria’. These are what you should ask your Real Estate Agent, when buying especially when buying from Estate developers:

1. What Title does it have?
Find out the Title the land has. The title could be a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O); Governor’s Consent; Excision; Registered Survey, etc. We will talk on documentation in subsequent posts.

2. Where is it Located?
To have an idea of the exact location, it is advisable you go for an inspection. Where you are unable to inspect, a trusted friend or family member could inspect on your behalf. In trying to ascertain the location of the land, take note of major landmarks around the vicinity. You could measure the distance of the property to these landmarks. E.g. 5 minutes’ drive from Lekki Free Trade Zone.

3. What is the Cost of the Land?
This is a major question as you need to know what you are required to pay in exchange for the land. Find out if the cost of acquiring the land is within your budget. Some companies allow payment on instalment basis, so you can also get details on this and opt for installment payment if it is more comfortable for you.

4. What documents do I get after purchase?
After you have purchased the plot(s) of land, you are entitled to receive documentation evidencing the transaction between you and the company selling. In most cases, this represents a receipt, a contract of sale, survey (in the name of the new owner of land), deed of assignment, etc. Please note that you are required to pay separately for some of these documents e.g. Survey and deed of assignment.

5. What is the size of the land?
Take note of the size of the plot of land being sold. This could vary from company to company. A standard plot size in Lagos State is 60 by 120ft, while it is 50 by 100ft in some other states. Some plots sold by companies may be the same as a standard plot size, or may be a bit lower. Others sell the land per square metre, so you get to determine the size of your plot. Ensure you are comfortable with the stated plot size, vis-a- vis the price stated.

Wishing you a pleasant purchase.

PS: We would love to hear from you! Your comments, corrections and contribution are welcome. Ask your questions and share your experiences too, in the comment box below. Thank you!


This article was written by Lisa Oso