It is easier for an elephant to pass through the eye of the needle than for a novice investor to successfully purchase land in Lagos state, perfect their title to the land and successfully develop the land (especially where the land in question is either family land or worse, community land).
Purchasing land and perfecting title to that land in Lagos state can be a real bother; it almost appears that the entire system relating to the purchase and perfection of land is set up to frustrate anyone who intends to purchase land within Lagos state!
Its a mine field out there! first you identify a piece of piece of real estate which falls within your budget, then you have to confirm that (a) the land in question is free from government acquisition (b) that the documents being shown to you in respect of that land are genuine (c) that the person selling the land to you is the true owner of the land or has the authority of the owner to transact with you (d) that the coordinates in the survey plan which has been provided to you are actually the coordinates of the land which you desire to purchase in the first place (e) that the surveyor you are dealing with is not a total quack who will take your hard earned money and leave you with some worthless pieces of paper… it all sounds really daunting, doesn’t it? hold on
After confirming that the land you wish to buy is free from encumbrance and that you are dealing with the proper parties, you have to tangle with the elements commonly known as ‘Omo-Oniles’. They come up with numerous requirements all designed to part you from as much money as possible. Their charges include ‘Owo signatory’,’ Owo Olori-ebi’, ‘Owo youth’, ‘Owo foundation etc. Once you are done with these criminals and you have your title documents duly executed and delivered, then you meet the mightiest obstacle, the Lagos state Lands registry, State Seretariat Alausa!
The Lands registry is a miasma of bureaucracy, God help you if any of your documents are improperly executed, you could spend the next year just trying to perfect your title. If you are lucky enough to get the consent of the Governor to your transaction in 3 months, then your work was done in record time! Lagos state has claimed that the process may be completed in one month, however all those in the know understand that the claims are pure fiction. Add to that the delays you will face from the state inland revenue service, the surveyor general’s office and other parastatals and you will get an idea of the merry go round you’re about to mount.
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