Lording over the Landlords: What’s the hope of property right in Nigeria?

It is no longer a new news that the state of Zamfara have decided to revoke all land titles in the state. The state governor through his media aide Yusuf Gusau made this known on Thursday 20th of May.

He cited that land-racketeering and corruption issues need to be addressed through the issuance of electronic certificates of occupancy. Hence, he mandated all land owners to reapply through the Zamfara geographic Information System (ZAGIS).⠀

It must be stated for the umpteenth time that the land owning structure in Nigeria is largely flawed as no single individual own a land in the country. The only landlord in Nigeria is the state governor or the state. The action of the state governor of Zamfara is an epiphenomenon of a nanny state that Nigeria land law have made her become.

Thus, leaving landed properties to the whim and caprices of the state governor. This law breeds an insecure environment for investors that need land as a key factor of production.⠀

So it goes without saying that all supposedly land-owners in Nigeria are merely occupants in legal terms, while the state governor or the state are the real owners and the Federal government is the owner of all natural resource therein. If property laws and by extension land law are not reformed to give ownership to the people, state governor’s sentiments will keep lording it over the “landlord”.

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