Don Seek Decentralization of Land Administration

For the nation to reap enormous benefits from land administration, there is the need to decentralize its management, promote systemic titling and registration as well as improve transparency in governance.

These were the submissions of experts at the two-day “International Conference on Land and Development in Lagos” organized by Center for Housing and Sustainable Development, University of Lagos (UNI-LAG).

The conference brought together scholars from the nation’s universities and professional in the construction industry.

Leading the call, the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on land reforms former, Prof. Peter Adeniyi canvassed the devolution of land administration to local government particularly in terms of registration, transactions and land conflict resolutions.

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For instance, he pointed out that Lagos is too big in terms of administration for every land actions to be done at the center, stressing that it would not work irrespective of energy investment in the process.

Prof. Adeniyi said it’s unfortunate that the country currently lacks some basic information like; the number of informal structures in the cities, area of registered land parcels and records of parcel owners with respect to career status, gender among others, which could facilitate sustainable land management.

Speaking on, “Land reform: A catalyst for inclusive growth and development in Lagos”, Adeniyi, the former Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akura, observed that one of the problems confronting land governance in the country is lack of implementation and enforcement of policies amid increasing numbers of actors such as the public sector, traditional authorities, private sector and civil society who has interest on land. He lamented that the country is not organized in putting proper law together for effective land administration.

According to him, the nation needs to adopt good land governance principles that are secured, transparent, equitable and sustainable with balance of social/economic and environmental needs. He also warned that weak land governance gives room for unreliable data, informal land transaction and land grabbing.

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The former Surveyor General of the Federation, Prof. Peter Nwilo, urged all levels of  government to adopt the proposal of the presidential committee on land reform, which suggested the adoption of systematic land registration methods for survey plans and cad-astral records.

He said there was a need for increased training and capacity building for surveyors and other experts involved in land administration, renewed investment in geodetic infrastructure and creating synergy among professionals in land administration.

Earlier, UNILAG Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe represented by Prof. Iyiola Oni noted that land is a critical issue as no development could occur without a well conserved and managed land resources. He stressed that issues of land use, tenure system, legal matters and land policy has come a long way to describe the importance of the natural resources.

On his part, the Chairman, local organizing committee, Prof. Timothy Nubi, explained that the level of poverty in any nation is dependent on how well land is managed. He therefore said, authorities must effectively realize the latent potentials in land management.

Source: Victor Gbonegun, The Guardian Newspaper

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