Certificate Of Occupancy Lagos Nigeria - What Is It Worth?

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Certificate of occupancy issued by the Lagos state government officially leases Lagos land to you, the applicant, for 99 yrs. Why the need for a certificate of occupancy or C of O?

Nigeria Real Estate Investing 101

Well, the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria confers the ownership of ALL lands in the country on the government.

Simply put . . . all lands in the country belongs to the respective state government.

Consequently, to own a piece of land, you have to buy it from the government as it were. When you do, the government issues you a C of O which transfers ownership to you the buyer for 99yrs.

Why 99yrs?

That is the duration specified by the land use Act. In simple words, each C of O issued in Nigeria has a life-span of 99yrs.

What happens after 99yrs?

That question is still subject of heated debate among experts. Some have adopted a wait-and-see attitude. Others postulate that the new owners of the land, you the buyer, can renew the certificate of occupancy when it expires. That makes sense, of course.

But, hey, let's wait and see. We will cross that bridge when we get there.

What about the local indigenes who originally owned the land before the government promulgated the infamous land use act? What do they have left?

Fortunately, the government recognizes that indigenes of different sections of the country have a right to existence . . . a right to the land of their birth. Hence, it is customary for state government to cede a portion of land to the original owners (natives) of each area.


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Individuals or corporations seeking to buy land in Lagos Nigeria have several options.

  • You can buy straight from the government in the case of government acquired land or
  • You can buy from individuals who have bought from the government or
  • You can buy from the natives (after verifying from the authorities that you are not illegally buying government acquired land)

Whoever you buy from, you need to eventually obtain a certificate of occupancy from the state government to legitimize your purchase, if the previous owner have not already done so.

So, how do you get a C of O from the Lagos state government?

This is a common question asked by people interested in being on the good side of the law. Unfortunately, they get all kind of answers - the majority of course are wrong answers. Thus, many have been misled and have lost money in the process.

I don't want you to suffer the same fate.

Consequently, I took my time to get the official procedure for securing genuine certificate of occupancy from the Lagos state government. This is to protect your interest and ensure you get value for your money.

P.S: This procedure for obtaining C of O was collected a few years back. So, it is likely that the procedure may have been updated. However, this document provides a starting point to understand the process involved.

P.P.S: Click HERE to subscribe to the Lagos Nigeria Real Estate Guide and you will get the procedure for obtaining certificate of Occupancy in Lagos as a thank you bonus.

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