Nigeria

Registering Property in

Nigeria

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Nigeria. 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 189 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2013.

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  • Standard Property Transfer

  • Property Value: NGN 11,120,888.19
  • City: Lagos
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Sworn affidavit for search at the Commissioner of Oaths

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.
Agency: High court of Justice
1 day NGN 250
2 Conduct a Property title search at the Land Registry

The application letter to conduct the search is accompanied by a sworn affidavit signed by the Commissioner of 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 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).

Agency: Lagos State Lands Registry
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

The assignor and assignee complete and sign Land Form 1C and four (4) copies of the Deed of Assignment.
Agency: Lawyer's Office
1 day Already paid in Procedure 2
4 Obtain Certified True Copy (CTC) of title document and a Certified True Copy of the Survey plan

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 affidvit 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 Town Planning Authority, which is required for the Governor's Consent. Under Nigerian la, a cear 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 bounday of the property. If using a private surveyor, he must be a registered one.
Agency: Lagos State Lands Registry
3-5 days NGN 5,625 + NGN 1,875
5 Payment of the Charting Fee, Endorsement fee and Form 1C at a designated bank

Fees are paid at a commercial bank. A receipt is issued, together with the paying-in slip to the designated bank. A bank draft made payable to Lagos State Government. This procedure is required for Governor’s Consent.
Agency: Commercial bank
1 day Charting Fees (NGN 7,500) + Endorsement Fees (NGN 1,500) + NGN 1,500 for Form 1C
Capital gains tax of 2% is also paid, but are not included in the calculation.
* 6 Process Governor’s consent to the Assignment Suggestion for the title: Submit application for processing Governor's Consent and obtain the Title

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 dispure.

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.
• 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


Agency: Directorate of Land Services
61 days Administrative Fee of NGN 3,000
* 7 Charting of survey plans attached to the Deeds

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 cahrting to ensure that the plans were prepared in accordance with town planning rules and that the property is free from 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.
Agency: Surveyor General's office at the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development
5 - 14 days no cost
* 8 Obtain notice of Stamp duty , Registration fees, Consent fees, Neighborhood improvement charge at the Land Registry

After investigation and assessment of the true value of the property, the conveyancer will be informed of the amount for the Registration fee, the consent fee, Stamp duty, Capital gains tax, that should be paid at the commercial bank.

The assessment is made by the Federal Inernal Revenue Services (since companies are involved) and the letter of assessment is given to the applicant. At the same time, the Personal Income Tax for 2 directors both from the selling company and the buying company must be provided. The Assessment letter will provide the accounts where payment should be made.
Agency: Federal Internal Reveneu service (FIRS)
3 days no cost
* 9 Payment of Stamp duty , Registration fees, Consent fees, Neighborhood improvement charge at a commercial bank

The Conveyancer pays the remaining fees at the designated Bank by means of Certified Checks: 8% Consent Fee + 3% of property value for the registration fee + 2% of property value for the Stamp duty + (Capital gains tax of 2% is also paid). Receipts are provided to the Conveyancer, who will make copies of those receipts before submitting to the Land Registry.
If Land directly allocated to the seller by the government is resold within 10 years of its initial allocation, then a penalty consent fee of 16% of the value is charged (to deter land speculation).

Agency: Commercial bank
1 day 8% Consent Fee + 3% of property value for the registration fee + 2% of property value for the Stamp duty (Capital gains tax of 2% is also paid, but are not included in the calculation).
* 10 Submit the Receipts of the Registration fees, Consent fees, Neighborhood improvement charge, Stamp duty

Reeceipts 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 records. 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 the office of the Honorable Attorney General of the State.
Agency: Federal Internal Reveneu service (FIRS)
1 day no cost
* 11 Obtain Title from the Land Services Department

The Conveyancer will make follow-up calls or visit personally the Land Registry to follow-up on the progress of the file. The Honorable Attorney General and Commissioners of the State grant consent on behalf of the Governor by signing on the deed of transfer. The lawyer will then transmit this file to the Stamp duty offices for stamping.
Agency: Directorate of Land Services
1 day no cost
12 Stamping of the deed of assignment

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.

Agency: Stamping duties office
1 day Already paid in Procedure 10
13 Registration of Certificate of Occupancy or Deed and Title conferred

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.

Agency: Land Registry
3 - 10 days Already paid in Procedure 10
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.

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