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Registering Property in

Nigeria - Lagos

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Nigeria - Lagos. It assumes a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Nigeria - Lagos to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Sworn affidavit for search at the Commissioner of Oaths

    Agency: High Court of Justice, Ministry of Justice, Notary public

    Before someone can carry out a search at the Land Registry an Affidavit must be first sworn and filed at the High Court. If the affidavit is registered before 12, then the lawyer will be able to proceed with the search. Otherwise it will be on the next day.

    1 day NGN 250
    2

    Conduct a Property title search at the Land Registry

    Agency: Lagos State Lands Registry

    The application letter to conduct the search is accompanied by a sworn affidavit signed by the Commissioner for Oaths of the status of the party and purpose of search. A lawyer is generally used to perform the registration of property. Legal fees are charged based on the Scale of Fees for Conveyancing Matters [Legal Practitioners (Remuneration for Legal Documentation and Other Land Matters) Order 1991]. This is a sliding scale , and averages out at about 7.5% of the consideration. The fees include all the steps required until the new title is registered under the buyer’s name.

    The primary objective at this stage is to ascertain that the Vendor has a good root of title. A good root of title in this context means the following:
    that the Vendor is the rightful owner of the land.
    that the land is free from any encumbrance or pending litigation.
    that the land is not the subject of any Government acquisition.
    that the land is not subject to any of the overriding interests in land (e.g. short leases, easements, licenses, road or right of way).

    1 day NGN 3,750 (search at Registry) + Legal fees as follows: NGN 7,500–10,000 + 7.5% of values above NGN 20,000 if acting for the buyer (5% of values above NGN 20,000 if acting for the seller)
    3

    Execution of Deed of Assignment/Conveyance and Land Form 1C

    Agency: Lands Bureau (Form 1c) and Lawyer's office (Deed of Assignment)

    Representatives of the firms (assignor and assignee) complete and affix their seals on the Land Form 1C and four (4) copies of the Deed of Assignment.

    The Land Form 1c is a document obtained at the Land Registry to be completed by the parties and duly notarized by a Notary Public or signed by a Commissioner for oaths. Lawyers often have the Form in their office. The Deed of Assignment on the other hand is as legal instrument conveying the interest/tile in a property to another. This is prepared by a lawyer and is to be executed by both parties in the presence of a witness.

    1 day no cost
    4

    Obtain Certified True Copy (CTC) of title document and a Certified True Copy of the Survey plan

    Agency: Land Registry

    The application letter to obtain a Certified True Copy of the title of ownership and a CTC of the land survey plan are accompanied by a sworn affidavit of purpose to support an application. Without these two documents the application for the Governor's consent would not be admitted.

    Parties obtain a copy of the survey Plan, as approved by the Office of the Surveyor General, which is required for the Governor's Consent. Under Nigerian law, a clear proof of the identity of the land plot is needed. The survey plan gives the coordinates of the plot and must fit in the official map of Lagos. It identifies the boundary of the property. If using a private surveyor, he must be a registered one.

    3-5 days NGN 5,625 + NGN 1,875

    5

    Payment of the Charting Fee, Endorsement fee and Form 1C at a designated bank

    Agency: Government accrediated bank

    Payment advice to be obtained from the Revenue Office for the purpose of PID Number generation after which is affected in the Bank. Payment for the above can be made to any Government accreditated bank either by a bank draft, cheque or cash. The Bank then issues a Government Revenue receipt. The receipts is what is submitted together with the application for Governor's Consent.

    1 day Charting Fees (NGN 7,500) + Endorsement Fees (NGN 1,500) + NGN 1,500 for Form 1C
    6

    Submit application for processing Governor's Consent and obtain the Title

    Agency: Directorate of Land Services

    By virtue of the Land Use Act, promulgated in 1978, all land in each State in the Federation became vested in the Governor of that State, who’s prior Consent is mandatory for the legal validity of any transfers or alienation of interest in landed property. In August 2005, the Governor’s Consent procedure underwent major reform, with the aim that Consent should be granted within 30 working days following submission of a duly completed application. Incomplete applications are not accepted. New procedures and documentation requirements have been widely published. The Land Services will also conduct their own checking for encumbrances on the property and whether the land has no government dispute.

    Obtaining the Governor’s consent require the following documentation:
    • Covering letter with Address and Telephone Nos.
    • Completed Form 1C
    • Certified True Copy (CTC) of Title Document of Assignor
    • Current Tax Clearance Certificates of the Assignor and Assignee
    • For Limited Liability Companies, the Internal Revenue Certificate of PAYE Directors
    • Four (4) copies of the Deed of which Consent is sought should be attached.
    • Copy of the Survey Plan, as approved by the surveyor General office and a picture of the Building
    • Evidence of payment for Charting fee, Endorsement fee, Form 1C
    • Evidence of payment of Land Use Charge
    • Where the Property is covered by a State Leasehold or Certificate of Occupancy, evidence of payment of Ground Rent, up to date.
    • A photograph of the property
    • A copy of the applicant and/or his agent/legal representative’s identification

    "

    61 days (simultaneous with procedures 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11)
    Administrative Fee of NGN 3,000

    * 7

    Charting of survey plans attached to the Deeds

    Agency: Surveyor General's office

    Upon submission of the application documents and payment of the administrative fee, the application is given a unique reference number, processes and delivered to the Surveyor General's office for charting to ensure that plans were prepared in accordance with survey rules and the property is free from the government acquisition. If there are no queries, the Deeds are returned to the Directorate of Lands service for issuance of the Assessment Notice. Where the survey plan is queried, a notice of the query is issued to the applicant.

    5 - 14 days (simultaneous with procedures 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11)
    no cost
    * 8

    Obtain Demand Notice for Registration fees, Consent fees, Neighborhood improvement charge at the Land Registry

    Agency: Directorate of Land Services

    After investigation and assessment of the true value of the property, the applicant will be issued with an assessment letter. The Letter will contain the amount for the Registration fee, Consent fee, Neighborhood improvement charge and the Capital gains tax that should be paid to the Lagos State Government Account.

    3 days (simultaneous with procedures 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11)
    no cost
    * 9

    Obtain Demand Notice for Stamp Duty

    Agency: Lagos State Inland Revenue Service or Federal Internal Revenue service (FIRS)

    After investigation and assessment of the true value of the property, the applicant will be issued with an assessment letter. The Letter will contain the amount for Stamp duty verified with Federal Internal Revenue Service. Payment of the Stamp duty should be paid to the Lagos State Government Account.

    1 day (simultaneous with procedures 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11)
    no cost
    * 10

    Payment of Stamp duty , Registration fees, Consent fees, Neighborhood improvement charge at a commercial bank

    Agency: Designated bank

    The applicant pays the remaining fees at the designated bank by means of certified cheques:
    Consent Fee 1.5% + Registration fee 0.5% + Stamp duty 0.5% + capital gains tax of 0.5% is also paid. Receipts are provided to the applicant, who will make copies of those receipts before submitting the original receipts to the Land Registry for verification.

    On January 5, 2015, the Government of the Lagos State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria adopted the Executive Bill No EO/BRF/001 of 2015. The Order, which takes immediate effect, reduces Consent Fees from 6 percent to 1.5 percent while Capital Gains tax, which was previously 2 percent, is reduced to 0.5 percent. Also cost of Stamp Duty has been reduced from 2 percent to 0.5 percent while Registration Fees has been reduced from 3 percent to 0.5 percent.

    However, the Executive Order provides, among others, that "unless otherwise indicated, the valuation of landed property for the determination of tax and other charges payable shall be by reference to the Statement of Fair market Value produced by relevant professionals, adopted by the State Government and published from time to time in the Official Government Gazette".


    1 day (simultaneous with procedures 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11)
    Consent Fee 1.5% + Registration fee 0.5% + Stamp duty 0.5%
    (Capital gains tax of 0.5% is also paid, but are not included in the calculation).
    * 11

    Submit the Receipts of the Registration fees, Consent fees, Neighborhood improvement charge, Stamp duty

    Agency: Directorate of Land Services

    Receipts obtained from the bank are submitted as proof of payment to the Land Registry. These receipts are internally forwarded to the Account Department for reconciliation. The lawyer retains copies of the deposit/payment slip is retained for his/her record. The Land Registry manually confirms these payments to the relevant departments. Once payment is confirmed by the Accounts Department, the Land Services Department sends the file directly to one of the designated commissioners to grant the Consent on behalf of the Governor.

    1 day (simultaneous with procedures 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10)
    no cost
    12

    Stamping of the deed of assignment

    Agency: Stamping duties office

    Deeds are presented by assignee’s lawyer for stamping at the Stamp Duties Registry (agency of Inland Revenue Services). Stamping takes place only after Registry receives confirmation of receipt of payment. The documentation shall include: receipts confirming payment of stamp duty.

    1 day Already paid in Procedure 10
    13

    Registration of Certificate of Occupancy or Deed and Title conferred

    Agency: Land Registry

    The lawyer will then follow up on the deed to be filed to the Lands Registry. The receipt and paying-in slips evidencing payment are given to the cashier at the Lands Registry. With proof of payment, a lands officer is assigned to enter the Deed into the Registry records.

    7 days Already paid in Procedure 10

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 7.0
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 2.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Lagos State Land Registry
    In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Scanned 1.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? Yes 1.0
    In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Paper 0.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? No 0.0
    Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Separate databases 0.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? No 0.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 2.0
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 1.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.lagoslands.com/directorates/directorate-of-land-services/documen...
    Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.lagoslands.com/directorates/land-registry-directorate/scale-of-c...
    Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, in person 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? No 0.0
    Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? No 0.0
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015:
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Only intermediaries and interested parties 0.0
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? No 0.0
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? No 0.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 3.0
    Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
    Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? Yes 0.5
    Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Lawyer; Interested Parties.
    Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Registrar; Lawyer.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? No 0.0
    For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? Lagos State High Court
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? More than 3 years 0.0
    Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? No 0.0
    Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2015:
    Equal access to property rights index (-2–0) 0.0
    Do unmarried men and unmarried women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0
    Do married men and married women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0