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  The Certificate of Occupancy is the most important land title that a landowner should have. It is proof that they own the property that the document refers to, and that this ownership is recognized by the government.
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If you want to acquire property in Lagos State (or elsewhere in Nigeria) you should know how to get a Certificate of Occupancy for it. Typically, you will have to engage with the state government to obtain one. The steps and documentation involved may differ across the various states of the federation. There’s also a difference between the processes of getting a Certificate of Occupancy for land purchased from communities and one acquired from the Lagos State government. This article takes you through the steps to obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy for property purchased from both the government and private dealers.

How To Get A Certificate Of Occupancy From The State Government

This process will take you at least 21 days to complete.

Things You Will Need

  • Formal letter addressed to:
The Executive Secretary, Land Use and Allocation Committee, Block 13, Room 4, Lands Bureau, The Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja.
  • A Standard Allocation Form, with accompanying receipt. This should either be a Form for Prime Land (for property located in Lekki Peninsula Scheme, or the Abijo Commercial and Industrial area), or a Form for General (for lands located elsewhere in the state).
  • Survey plan
  • Evidence of Income Tax payment.
  • Current development levy.
  • Four passport photographs with white background.
  • Payment receipts for land charges.
  • Vital Information Form.

Steps You Should Take

  • Purchase the Application and Vital Information Form, submit it to the Land Use Allocation Committee (LUAC), and, and receive an acknowledgement slip.
  • Collect a letter of offer of allocation.
  • Pay for the land allocated to you within 90 days of receiving the letter.
  • You are issued with a letter of confirmation, containing a plot and block number.
  • The Scheme Officer processes the application for the Certificate of Occupancy, sign off on the file, and send it to the Executive Secretary (ES), LUAC.
  • The Survey Officer provides the Scheme Officer with a digitized survey.
  • The ES LUAC signs the letter of allocation, sign off on the file, and forward it to the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor on Lands.
  • The SSA examines the file and sends it along with a covering memo to the Permanent Secretary (PS), Land Bureau.
  • The PS signs off on the cover memo and sends the file to the Governor.
  • The Governor gives his approval to the file and signs the C of O (electronically).
  • After the Governor’s approval, the file is sent to the Deputy Registrar, who processes it and forwards it to the Registrar of Titles.
  • The C of O is registered by the Registrar of Titles, who also requests that the C of O be printed.

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How To Get A Certificate Of Occupancy For Non-State Owned Land

You should have these things when you’re applying for a C of O for non-state-owned land.

Things You Will Need

  • Publication or inspection fee.
  • Capital contribution fee (value based on land size and location).
  • Formal Letter addressed to:
The Executive Secretary Land Use Allocation Committee, Block 13, Room 4, Lands Bureau, The Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja.
  • Completed Certificate of Occupancy Form, and receipt.
  • Land Information Certificate, along with its receipt.
  • Four copies of the original survey plan.
  • Four passport photographs with white background.
  • A sketch of the site location.
  • Development levy receipt.
In addition to these, you should also have:
  • Building plan approval (if the site is developed).
  • Tenement Rate receipt (if the property is occupied).

Steps You Should Take

  1. Submit an application to obtain land information from the Survey general’s Office (located in Alausa, Ikeja).
  2. Purchase the private Certificate of Occupancy application form. Submit it with the documents mentioned above.
  3. A publication inviting possible objections to the application is published. Possible objections will be entertained within 21 days.
  4. If there are no objections, the Land Use Allocation Committee (LUAC) inspects the land and issues a report. This report is required for processing the issuance of a C of O.
  5. The Certificate of Occupancy is printed and submitted for execution by the Governor.
  6. The Governor executes the Certificate of Occupancy.
  7. The Commissioner for Stamp Duties stamps the Certificate of Occupancy, which is then registered.
  8. Obtain the executed and registered Certificate of Occupancy at the Land Use Allocation Committee collection office.

Final Words

The process of acquiring a genuine Certificate of Occupancy can be cumbersome. But it’s worth the hassle; if you know the steps you should take, you’ll lower your risk of being duped by people peddling counterfeit C-of-O’s. Featured Image Source: Masterplan
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This article was first published on 31st March 2021


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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