What is excision and why is excised land more expensive?
Company A and Company B are both Real Estate Development Companies. They both are selling land in the same area in Ibeju Lekki. However, Company A’s land is selling for N3 Million while Company B’s price is N1.5 Million. Clients are perplexed as to why Company A is so selfish that they would not sell at a cheaper price, prompting them to rush to purchase Company B’s land. Three years later, Company B informs its clients that they have started the process of excising the land on which their estate sits, and each customer is expected to pay N2 million to complete the process. There’s a lot of commotion and complaints. However, Company A’s clients are free to build on that land without any fear because the land was already excised.
It is always cheaper but the long-term troubles could eventually be too much to handle. Except you are buying from a Registered and Certified Real Estate Company, buying non-excised land is highly risky.
This is often the case of clients who choose to buy non-excised land over excised land. It is always cheaper, but the long-term challenges can become too much to bear. Purchasing non-excised property, from a non-licensed and non-accredited Real Estate Company with a good track record, is incredibly dangerous.
So why is excised land so expensive?
Before we answer that we need to understand what an excised land is.
Lands in Nigeria are under the authority of state governors by law. Historically, however, lands in Nigeria were largely under the jurisdiction of communities and traditional families prior to the passage of the Land Use Act of 1978. As a result of the Land Use Act, lands are now specifically under the jurisdiction of state governors, who may also release parts of these lands to former landowners with confirmed ownership records. Land excision is a method by which state governments release parts of the land to indigenous peoples or settlers by lawfully approved protocols and processes. The method of land excision is a means for the government to compensate the original landowners since the Land Use Act was enacted. When a piece of land is excised, that ensures the grantees have complete control over it and will do anything they want within the confines of local rules and regulations.
However, the process of obtaining excision is very tedious and requires a lot of money. Here is how families obtain excision
1. Excision Application: A land excision application will be sent to the Lagos State Land Use Allocation Committee (LUAC) on the family head, group head, or Baale’s official letterhead file. The application would provide information such as the community’s historical history, population, main occupation, perimeter census, the purpose of the excised location, and reason for the excision.
2. Technical Committee Processing: Within 7 days of receiving the letter, it will be sent to the LUAC Technical Committee for further processing.
3. Charting Information: The perimeter survey of the area to be excised will be submitted to the Surveyor-General, who will review the charting and decide if the proposed excision falls under government acquired-area, in which case the proposal will be withdrawn outright.
4. Site Inspection: After gaining approval from the Surveyor-General, the technical committee will conduct a physical assessment of the site in question. The goal is to check the validity of the statements contained in the application and to interview community members in order to collect additional evidence that would be important in deciding whether the application is accepted or denied. This phase of the procedure typically takes 14 days after the Surveyor General’s report is released.
5. Master Plan Compliance: After reviewing the property, the technical committee can ensure that the land’s planned use is in accordance with the Master Plan for the city.
6. Report to the LUAC: The technical committee produces a report and sends it to the LUAC after it has been properly processed. This paper includes all of the files gathered on the property, as well as their conclusions from the on-site review and their views on whether the permit should be approved or revoked.
7. LUAC Analysis and Recommendation to Governor: The LUAC reviews all of the materials provided by the technical committee and issues a final decision and recommendation to the State governor, including approving or rejecting the excision proposal for relevant reasons.
8. Survey Description Preparation: Once the governor’s office accepts the excision order, the Surveyor General’s office is informed promptly, and a full perimeter survey of the proposed area is completed within 30 days.
9. Layout Design: The community’s registered town planners, families, or people interested in the land excision proposal will be commissioned to draw a layout plan for the new piece of land, which will then be sent for approval to the State’s Ministry of Physical Planning and Economic Development.
10. Indemnity Agreement Execution: The grantees of the land must enter into an agreement with the government that binds them to take the land in complete and unconditional settlement of all previous claims on the land. Likewise, the grantees may agree to compensate the government for losses incurred by encroachment or vandalism of property by family, agents, or community members beyond the excised land region.
11. Publishing in the Lagos State Official Gazette: After all of the above requirements have been met, the technical committee publishes the land excision in the official gazette of the Lagos State Government.
12. Publication in Newspapers: The technical committee will print the official gazette in at least one commonly circulated newspaper. The object of the publication is to educate the general public about the land’s status, the excised land’s borders, and other pertinent information. The applicant is responsible for the expense of the newspaper advertisement.
13. Issuance of Certificates of Occupancy: The government is expected to issue a Certificate of Occupancy on the excised land to the grantees’ approved members within 30 days of publication of the official gazette in newspapers.
14. Forwarding of Final Documents: After all of the aforementioned procedures have been completed, all excision reports and administrative files are transferred to the State’s land bureau office. The Registrar of Lands in the Excised Lands Agency would then formally enter the excision, surveys, maps, names, and gazettes into the archives.
This whole procedure is incredibly capital intensive, which is why, after excising the land, the family that processed it sells the land at a high price in order to recoup their investment. So, if you choose a non-excised land over an excised land because “it is cheaper”, have it at the back of your mind that upon processing the excision, you will still have to part with some money.