CONFUSING TERMS IN PROPERTY TRANSACTION AND THEIR MEANING

Rectification and Ratification. These are two different words that sound the same. Rectification means to fix a serious mistake on a title document while ratification means a formal approval given to a contract/agreement to make it legal and binding. Rectification is used to fix mistakes in a deed of assignment such as misspelled names, wrong location of the property or a mistake in how the document is signed and depends entirely on whether the deed is registered or not. When a deed is unregistered, such mistakes can be easily fixed but when it is an unregistered deed, a deed of rectification which is a document that two parties sign to fix a mistake in a previously registered deed is made. It is important to know that rectification can only be done within 30 days of paying the legal fees for any title document.

Committed Acquisition. This is one of the ways the government uses to acquire lands to fund their projects.

Committed lands. A committed land a land that has set aside by the government to be used for government projects like bridges, roads, airport, dams and pipelines. Buying committed land is a sure way to get your property taken away without any compensation and if you’re stupid enough to build something on it, the Lagos State Government will tear it down without a second thought. An example of such committed lands is located at Gbetu Village Ibeju Lekki Lagos state which has been set aside to build a government scheme. Another example is located beside Unilag Estate Kosofe Local Government Area, Lagos which has been set aside to build a federal government road.

Global/General Acquisition. This is the second way the government uses to acquire lands for their projects. A land under global acquisition is safe to buy because the title of the land can be perfected without any problem whatsoever and can be free through a process called excision.

Excision. This is the first step in getting a good title for land that has been bought from a government-acquired land. Sometimes the state government would partition a part of the whole land it acquired through a process called partitioning, to give back to the society. The partitioned part will be written down in the official state government document called gazette.

Gazette. This is an official record book where all important government information is written down. This is a powerful tool that belongs to the community and can serve as land title instead of a certificate of occupancy.   A gazette also lists the communities or villages that have been given Excision and how many acres or hectares of land the government has given them. The traditional family can sell its land to the public only in the acres or hectares that were given to them or cut off. They can’t sell anything outside of those acres or hectares.

Land Measurement. This is a confusing concept for most people. Lands may be measured in plot, acre, and hectare. In Lagos state, a plot of land is usually 60ft x 120ft (18m x 36m, or 648 sqm) but in some other cities in Nigeria, plots are 50ft x 100ft. Land vendors use an Acre as a standard unit of measurement. An Acre is almost the same size as a standard football field. It can also be worked out by adding up 6 plots (each measuring 60ft x 120ft). A hectare is the same as 15 plots of land or 2.5 acres. It can also be written as 100m by 100m (100sqm) or 328ft by 328ft.

Deed of sale. A Deed of Sale is the main document by which a vendor gives all of his rights to the property to the purchaser, who then owns the property completely. It is also called the deed of conveyance. It contains the terms and conditions about the sale in the document. It protects the purchaser from losing money because of things that could go wrong with the land sale.

Certificate of occupancy. A Certificate of Occupancy is an official document that shows you have the right to live on a piece of land. It proves that the state government is granting you, the applicant, a 99-years lease on land in Lagos.

Global Certificate of Occupancy (Global C of O). This is a certificate of occupancy for a whole piece of land that was given to the owner of an estate. The owner of the estate can then give each owner of a plot in the estate a Deed of Assignment, which shows a transfer of ownership.

Governor’s consent. This is sought when a vendor with a C of O decides to sell off his land. Since a C of O is only given to the first owner of the land, all subsequent owners can only seek the Governor’s consent before the transfer of title is considered legal.

Survey plan. Before buying a piece of land, you need to know who owns a land. Survey plan is the main document that shows who owns the land. The government sees the survey plan as proof of legal title to the land. This means that in order to protect your title to the land, one must have it surveyed and written down.

Land survey fee. This is the amount to be paid to have your land surveyed. This is primarily based on the size and the location of the land. A surveyor would help you measure the land to know its size. But keep in mind that the bigger the land, the more it will cost for a survey and government work. The cost of survey also depends on the location of the land. In Lagos state, there are three zones used to process survey plans and land documents. The areas are split into zones based on how economically viable they are and how much it costs to buy a plot of land. The cost of a land survey in Lagos state is N350, 000 for a 0-1,000square meter plot in Zone C, N500, 000 Naira for a 0-1,000square meter plot in Zone B, and 1 million Naira for a 0-1,000square meter plot in Zone A. Zone A covers the properties within the following local governments: Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Lagos island, Apapa and also properties near the main roads and properties on the water. Zone B covers properties within the following local governments: Agege, Alimosho, Anuwo-Odofim, Ibeju-Lekki, Ifako Ijaiye, Kosofe, Lagos mainland, Mushin, Oshod/Isolo, Ojo, Shomolu and Surulere. Zone C covers properties within the following local governments: Epe, Ikorodu, Ajeromi-Ifelodun and Badagry.

Steps for Making Payment for Land Survey

  1. Get a licenced surveyor.
  2. Pay the necessary fees. There are two fees that must be paid to the surveyor. The first is the fees that must be paid which cannot be changed. This payment is what will be given at the ministry of that state in order to approve and process the survey plan. It will be used to get a new beacon number that will be attached to the property to show who the owner of the land is. Anyone that agrees to take less money is trying to rip you off because this money is to be paid to the ministry so that the survey work is approved. The second fee that the surveyor will charge is his professional fee. This fee can be negotiated.

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