Can an individual apply for government excision on their land
We were recently approached by someone who was quite concerned after reading news reports about the government destroying buildings on acres of land without excision.
He purchased property on an in-excised land without understanding about land titles a few months back and wanted to know if he could proceed with his excision on his single 600 square meter plot.
This article will provide specific answers as well as proffer solutions to anybody in his position.
First and foremost, what exactly is excision? To answer this topic, you must first realize that every piece of land in Nigeria is ultimately held by the state and federal governments, owing to the Land Use Act. More information about the Land Use Act may be found HERE.
The government, on the other hand, allows ancestral communities to seek for village excision. That is, for a portion of their community’s property to be excised (or released) to them for agricultural, construction development, and any other uses they see suitable.
The government excises (or releases) portions of communal (or ancestral) land to the local community, which is then documented in a government gazette, and these types of land are referred to as having land title documents called “Gazette” or “Excision” in land for sale advertisements.
Lands remaining under government acquisition are ancestral lands that have yet to be excised by the government (and hence are not covered by any official gazette).
Is there a classification system for government land acquisitions?
Lands that are still under government acquisition fall into three categories:
- Committed Lands
These are government-designated lands that will be used for future government initiatives. Any land investor who purchases this sort of land in Lagos, Nigeria, has effectively squandered his money. Committed lands are never made available to the general public for personal use.
- Agricultural Land Acquisitions.
These are lands within agriculturally zoned regions set aside by the government. Individuals can purchase these properties for agricultural activities such as crop cultivation, livestock farming, and so forth.
- General Land Acquisitions
These are lands that the government owns as a result of the land use act that declares the government to be the only owner of all lands in the state. Lands with General Acquisition are free and have no government projects planned for these areas.
As a result, ancestral groups (or real estate development firms that purchased vast tracts of property from these communities) might petition to the government for excision for sections of the land.
The public is notified of the excision (or release for private use) by a government gazette once the application has been processed and accepted by the government.
However, the question still stands; Can an Individual apply for excision on their plot of land?
The answer is simple. NO!
Why then? You may ask.
The process of obtaining excision is very complex. In this blog-post (WHAT IS EXCISION AND WHY IS EXCISED LAND MORE EXPENSIVE?), we dissected the entire process involved in processing excision.
It would be chaos at the Lands Bureau if the government made it easy for anyone to apply for excision. As a result, the government only allows excision for vast areas of land, such as tens of acres or hectares.
Imagine the mess if hundreds of individuals flocked to the land bureau daily to have their plots excised.
If you are going to buy land that is not yet, excised, it is important to buy only from a real estate company as Omo-Oniles might not care to process excision on that area once they have sold.
However, if you have bought land without title from an Omo-Onile, there is still hope. It is called RATIFICATION.