The cost of buying land in a choice location within Lagos State particularly in this era of land grabbing “Omo-Onile’s syndrome” who are desirous of selling Government acquired Land to the unknown individual’s and selling a plot of land to several people has opened one’s eyes to ensure that proper search on lands and landed properties are done before the hard-earned money is spent since its refunds would be practically impossible.

Gone are the days when land transactions, business is entrusted in the hands of relatives and friends at ensuring a better result, now you need to be vigilant and pay more attention at every step undertaken during the transaction. Otherwise, you may regret your action for not taking part in the future. It is important that we know at least a little about the land transaction before we engage the services of a professional. 

This attitude caused the need to educate and shed light on how to avoid getting into the traps of unscrupulous people within society.

It is important that investors know: 
1. That not all Land can be developed because of both Natural and Artificial features e.g. Gorges, Canals, and High Tension line, Right of Ways, etc. Except for the use of Modern Technologies, which may be difficult to have access to as an individual.

2. That, not all Lands are free for individual development – Some Lands in Lagos State are within Government Committed Acquisition and not free to buy.

3. That not all Lands can be utilised for all our purposes or intentions.- there are regulations to zone (residential, commercials, etc); height restrictions; density, etc. guiding the use of land that must be strictly adhered to.

So when looking for Lands to purchase, the above 1 to 3 items should be our watchwords.

WHERE TO BUY YOUR LAND
1. Lands can be obtained from Government- through an allocation from various schemes of your choice when you apply. eg Lekki Scheme I &2, Ogudu Scheme, Magodo, etc;
2. Through approved Private Schemes, e.g. Diamond, Rich Land Estate Schemes, etc.
3. Directly from Families; (Free Land);
4. Through Corporate Organization
5. Individuals or Groups

WHAT TO DO BEFORE BUYING YOUR LAND
a. Demand a copy of the Registered Title on the Land (if any); This could be in the form of a Certificate of Occupancy, Deem Grant, Consent, etc.
b. Request for a copy of the Layout and a Survey Plan.

Demanding for the above a & b will help do further findings from:

i. Land’s Bureau;
ii. Surveyor’s General Office
iii. Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC)
iv. Probate registry;
v. Court;
If the property to be purchased is an existing structure, request for:
vi. The profile of the developer of the property, certificate of structural stability, etc to find out the structural fitness of the building.
vii. Investigate the profile and record of the owner to find out that the owner is not on the watch list of agencies such as EFCC, ICPC, to prevent the risk of confiscation.

c. If you can not get a copy of any Survey Plan previously done on the Land, seek for the help of a Land Surveyor with the use of a GPS devise to pick the coordinates of the Land for charting; or download GPS application from Google Play Store to pick the coordinates yourself for charting (you need to be guided in doing this).

If you are fortunate to get a copy of the Survey Plan from the Vendor, re- cross-check it with the GPS device and apply for Land Information from Surveyor’s General Office and for the Planning Information from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development (Free). This will avail you the information regarding the Land status, Zoning, Height, Density and Design Standards required.

If the information got from the above on the Land or the structure is okay, proceed with the payment. If not disengaged from the transaction. Never believe the saying by the vendor “that the land is free or will soon be released to the family by the government, or that you buy one land with a gift of a Ram or 10 bags of cement, etc”. It is an attempt to lure and deceive you. 

WHAT ARE THE GOVERNMENT PLANNING INSTRUMENTS
These are:
i. Lagos State Urban and Region Planning and Development Law 2010;
ii. Building Regulations;
iii. Lagos State Regional Plan;
iv. Master Plans
v. District Plans;
vi. Model City Plans

vii. Acquisition Plan

viii Schemes.

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