Land use Act Decree, advantages and disadvantages

Land Use Act Decree, Advantages and Disadvantages of Land Use Decree, It leads to escalation in the cost of land survey

The land acquisition process has become bureaucratic and often meets with bottlenecks
It has impoverished communities whose main assets were their lands.

The Land Use Act, also known as the Land Use Act Decree, is a law that was enacted in Nigeria in 1978. It is a significant piece of legislation that governs the ownership, control, and use of land in the country.

The Land Use Act was introduced as part of the Nigerian government\’s efforts to address issues related to land ownership and control, particularly in rural areas.

It aimed to consolidate all land in each state of Nigeria under the control of the state government.

This means that all lands in Nigeria are vested in the state governors, who hold them in trust for the people of the state.

Under the Land Use Act, individuals or entities can acquire rights to use and occupy land by obtaining a certificate of occupancy (C of O) from the state government.

The C of O gives the holder a legal right to use and develop the land for a specified purpose, such as residential, commercial, or agricultural use, subject to the provisions of the law.

One of the key principles of the Land Use Act is the concept of \”Statutory Right of Occupancy.\”

This means that individuals or entities can only acquire land rights through the government, and customary or traditional land ownership is not recognized by the law.

The Act also provides for the payment of annual rents and conditions for revocation of land rights.

The Land Use Act has had a significant impact on land administration in Nigeria.

It has centralized control over land in the hands of the state government, which has both positive and negative implications.

On the positive side, it has streamlined the process of land allocation and reduced conflicts over land ownership

you can check out this post on land tenure system

However, it has also been criticized for limiting individual rights to land and hindering investment in the real estate sector.

Advantages of Land Use act Decree

It has made land acquisition relatively easier for new entrants into agriculture.
It has reduced the number and frequency of court cases over land ownership

It has facilitated the borrowing of capital for further investment in agriculture. It prevents fragmentation of land since land acquired under the decree cannot be shared into bits

There is a reduction in boundary disputes since the survey of the acquired land is mandatory for the occupancy right to be granted.

Disadvantages of Land Use act Decree

It leads to an escalation in the cost of land survey
The land acquisition process has become bureaucratic and often meets with bottlenecks. It has impoverished communities whose main assets were their lands.

It has encouraged dishonesty through illegal sale and backdating of ownership or title deeds after 1978
The land is not necessarily allocated to every potential agricultural developer
Land may be acquired by influential people for non-agricultural purposes

Before the land use decree, customary laws governed the right of individuals on land, regulating alienation of land, inheritance and succession, freehold and leasehold, and co-ownership of land.





(i)     Security of Tenure: It is to safeguard farmers against unreasonable eviction.

(ii)     Ensuring Proper Land Use: This ensures that agricultural land is not unnecessarily diverted to non-agricultural purposes.

(iii)     Government Projects: This is to make large tracts of land available for government-sponsored development of large scale farms or resettlement schemes.

(iv)     Land Improvement: It is to carry out large-scale improvements such as irrigation, drainage and soil water conservation in order to ensure a reasonable standard of efficient production for a long time.

Such requirements should be obligatory, irrespective of the land tenure system.

(v)     Influence on Size of Holdings: It is to prevent land fragmentation and encourage the consolidation of small holdings into large units.

(vi)     Freedom of Enterprise: This is to encourage freedom of farming in cases where there are regulations or traditional views that militate against such freedom.

(vii)     Control of Production: It is to encourage the production of certain products and curtail the production of others through the control of land use.

(viii)     Land Litigation: This is to reduce the number of land litigation among the citizens.


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