For any building structure you see, whether a bungalow, duplex, skyscraper or even the foundational stage of a building, the Certificate of Occupancy, popularly called the C of O is what signifies legally that you have interest on the land upon which that property is standing on. It is a legitimate proof of ownership that spell out the initial purpose of the land for instance; residential use, commercial, Agriculture or mixed development. It is a very important document in any land transaction.
The government is constitutionally mandated to issue the Certificate of Occupancy because all lands in the state are vested in the Governor of the State. This is clearly spelt out in the Land Use Act 1978, all land in a state (especially the urban part of the state) is to be held by the governor in trust for the people of the state. These are called “omo-oniles” in the popular palace. Usually, their holdings are outside the legal framework and would have to be brought in when you buy or even by themselves before selling if it is to
To buy land therefore, you can make your purchase from the “omo-oniles”, Government or some other entity (individual or corporate) who must have earlier bought from either “omo-oniles” or Government. Therefore, to purchase a land, you either buy directly from the government, from individuals who bought from the government or from these so called “omo-oniles.” In cases where the said land has been a matter of some form of acquisition, you may have to pay the two of them to have access to a land.
At Realty Point, we usually advise that a proper due diligence be done when buying a piece of land because ignorance is not an excuse in law. Whoever you buy from, it is important that you obtain your Certificate of Occupancy where none existed before so as to ensure you secure a perfect title to the land.
To obtain your C of O from the government, you need to
1. Apply for land information and get your land information certificate. To do this, you need to pay an application fee at the Surveyor General’s office and provide a chartable survey plan (2 cloth, 2 paper) Obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy requires following a clearly spelt out procedure that takes a minimum of 21 working days. It is important to find out for sure that your land or property is not already under acquisition.
2. Purchase a C of O application form. If a residential building, it’s =N=5,000 but if commercial, it’s =N=20,000 in Lagos State.
3. Fill and submit the application form in Land Use Allocation Commission (LUAC) with the following supporting documents
· Land information certificate
· Receipt for land information fee
· Receipt for application form
· Publication/inspection fee of =N=10,000
· Capital contribution (to be calculated based on size and location of land)
· Land purchase receipt/agreement (duly stamped)
· Copy of current tax clearance certificate (individuals)
· Copy of =N=100 development levy receipt
· Site location sketch
· Four passport photographs of applicant with white background
· Copy of approved building plan (if developed)
· Copy of tenement rate receipt (if occupied) or Land Use Charge
· Cover letter addressed to executive secretary LUAC, stating all documents attached, as above and typed with applicant’s address
· Acknowledgement slip from LUAC
· Applicant collects letter of offer of allocation (1 day)
· Applicants pay for allocated land (within 90 days)
· Applicant is issued a letter of confirmation with plot and block number (Note that full payments must be made before Plots & Blocks are allocated)
· The Scheme Officer processes application for C of O
· The Scheme Officer signs off on the file and forwards files to Executive Secretary LUAC (5 days).
· The Surveyor General provides Scheme Officer with digitised survey (2 days)
· The Executive Secretary LUAC approves processing and signs letter of allocation
· The Executive Secretary LUAC signs off on the file
· The Executive Secretary LUAC sends file to the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Lands (2 days)
· The Senior Special Assistant (Lands) vets entire file and sends file/application with a covering memo to the Permanent Secretary (PS) Lands Bureau (2 days)
· If file has a query, message is relayed back by notification; PS Lands signs off on the memo and sends file to Governor (2 days)
· The Governor approves file and electronically signs the C of O (2 days)
· If the file has a query, a message is relayed back by notification.
· Upon approval and signing of C of O, the Governor signs off and sends file to the Deputy Registrar for further processing (2 days)
· The Deputy Registrar processes file further, signs off and send the file to the Registrar of Titles for final registration (2 days)
· The Registrar of Titles registers the C of O, signs off and request for printing of C of O (1 day)
· The state government has warned landowners and property owners to be wary of fake and cloned Certificates of Occupancy.
It is worthy of note that in these 21 days, the application is advertised to attract objection or no objections before it is processed.
Kind of tedious wouldn’t you say? That’s the reason Skyaphix is here to take the stress off you!
Acquisition of Land: Since 1978, the major legislation regulating the acquisition of land within the country has been the Land Use Act of 1978 which states that all land in a State is to be held in trust by the State Governor for the benefit of all Nigerians. By law, foreigners may also acquire land wherever it is located in the country from either the State governments or from other holders.
Consent: The issue of getting a property can sometimes be very daunting if you have to think about the stress and many processes involved. First, you have to be sure what you’re buying is genuine and will not be sold to anyone else after your payment except by you.
Deed: A deed, as defined in the dictionary is a signed document pertaining to the ownership or legal rights of landed property. Ownership, legal, rights, property, signed are some of the keywords that stand out here.
Land Titles: In property law, a title is a bundle of rights in a piece of property in which a party may own either a legal interest or equitable interest. The rights in the bundle may be separated and held by different parties. It may also refer to a formal document, such as a deed, that serves as evidence of ownership
Building Plan: I like to think of building plan thus: Every idea starts with the gift of imagination! However, it has been proven that even the shortest pencil is better than the longest memory. Imagination needs to be captured otherwise it becomes a thing of the past. That is the reason the Skyaphix exist to capture your dream home to reality.