Important facts about land acquisition in Abuja (FAQ)

Is there any act(s) governing Land Administration in Abuja?
Yes, there is. The Land Use Act (LUA) Cap.202 (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria), 1990, governs all land in Nigeria including the FCT Abuja. The law vests the entire land comprised in the territory of every State (except land vested in the Federal Government or its agencies) solely in the Governor of the State, who holds the land in trust for the use and common benefit of all Nigerians.
Section 55 of the LUA empowers the Minister in matters of Administration of land in the FCT. The FCT Act vests all the 8000sq. km. of the FCT landmass in the Federal Government. Meaning the powers to administer land in the FCT are powers of the President.

What does the Minister of FCT have to do with land allocation in the FCT?
The Minister is acting on delegated powers of the President by virtue of Section 18 of the FCT Act. Consequently, under the delegated powers of the President, the Minister can allocate and administer land within the FCT in line with the provisions of the law. Apart from the Minister, no one has the authority to allocate land in the FCT.

Right of Occupancy (R OF O)
It is the right granted to a person or corporate organization over a plot or parcel of land in an approved government layout. The right is for a period. Normally, a maximum of 99 years lease is granted for residential purpose, while other uses range from 35 to 70 years depending on the value of improvements.
The right granted is the right to use the land for a period stipulated in the offer. Upon expiration of the lease period, the land and the improvement on it revert to Government. It is likely that a owner of a right of occupancy may have enjoyed whatsoever investment he might have made on the plot of land at the expiration of the lease period (i.e. 35, 40, 50, 60, 70 or 99 years as the case may be.) There is nevertheless a provision for a re-grant. A holder may upon expiration of the initial grant/lease term, apply for a re-grant, of the Right of Occupancy and the Government has discretion in considering such applications.
You are expected to pay all the relevant charges (i.e. premium, preparation and registration fees, ground rent, survey fees etc) and obtain a Certificate of Occupancy as evidence for the grant.

Certificate of Occupancy (C of O)?
A Certificate of Occupancy is an instrument prepared at the Land Registry, signed by the Minister (the Governor, in the case of any state of the Federation), registered in the Land Registry, and given to the holder of a Right of Occupancy as evidence of a grant. The Land Use Act made provision for the issuance of a C of O over every grant.

Statutory Right of Occupancy
It is the grant to a person or corporate organization over a plot or parcel of land in an approved government layout. The right is normally granted by the Minister of in the case of the FCT, (the Governor, in the case of any state of the Federation). This right is different from a Customary Right of Occupancy, which is usually granted by Local Government Council.

What is Ground Rent?
Ground rent is a fee paid to Government for the use of the land. It is payable annually based on an approved rate. It is subject to periodic review within the term of the lease.

What is Tenement Rate?
It is a tax charge on a rented property and payable to a local council for services rendered by that council. It has to be a developed property and in full occupation by either a tenant or the owner of the property. In other words, the charges are not normally imposed on unoccupied property.

The difference between ground rent and tenement rent.
Ground rent is paid for the use of the land not considering whether the land is in occupation or not by the holder of the title, while tenement rent is payable on a rented property that is in full occupation by either a tenant or the landowner.

What is Premium?
It is an amount of rent paid at the commencement of tenancy on Land before the issuance of a C of O. It is paid only once.

Development Levy.
It is a fee paid to government over a plot of land for a particular purpose. In the FCT it is paid before the issuance of a C of O along with other bills known as preliminary bill. The FCT imposed the Development Levy in the year 2000 and the funds is intended to be used for the provision of infrastructures, particularly in areas of the City that are yet to have such amenities.

It is the process of certification and capturing genuine land data, which necessitated changing the hard copy of the C of O. It is an exercise embarked upon by the FCT Administration in order to issue new and more secured Certificates of Occupancy evidencing every grant within the FCT.
All the old C of O would be recalled while new and secure ones would be issued. The new ones would be handier with added security features that would be difficult to forge. The new C-of-O is database driven and thus confirmations, analysis, searches, and investigations would become easier, prompt, and accurate. New forms would be issued by the re-certification team to be completed by each holder of a title and returned with processing fees of N10, 000.00 only.
To ensure that only genuine ones are captured in the exercise, the old original C-of-O would be examined carefully, be authenticated as valid document before they are replaced with the new ones. The term and condition on the old C of O is applied on the new one and the holder of the old C of O will occupy his plot for the remainder of the lease period. This is intended to restore confidence in the Public, promote more participation of the individual and corporate organizations, allow for more transparent ways of land transactions, aided by the new AGIS tools, and eradicate all cases of forged land documents currently in circulation.

The difference between Re-Certification and Revocation.
Re-certification is a process of re-certifying and replacing the old C of O with new ones. The term and condition on the old C of O is continued on the new one and the holder of the old C of O will occupy his plot for the remainder of the lease period.
Revocation on the other hand is the complete extinguishing of the right of occupancy granted to an individual or corporate organization. The holder of such a title looses all the rights and privileges that go with that title. Re-certification is therefore not the same with revocation as no title would be extinguish, unless of course it is acquired fraudulently.

Under what condition a valid title would be revoked.
A title document or statutory Right of Occupancy can be revoked for overriding Public interest. It can be revoked on the account of contravention of any or all of the terms of the right of occupancy. A right of occupancy could also be liable for revocation for failure or neglect on the part of the Allotted to pay and obtain the new certificate of occupancy.

I have three (3) plots how many re-certification forms do I need to fill?
Three (3) forms. One for each plot.

I have more than one plot/C of O, would one picture be enough?
No. One picture would not be enough. Each plot/C of O would require one picture of the allotted on the application form and the one to be taken when he or she returns the C of O for Re- certification.

I lost my original C of O, how do I get this new Certificate of Occupancy. C of O?
In the case of a lost either by fire, water or other disasters the holder is expected to report to the Police and obtain an extract of the report from them. Then go to a court of law and swear to an affidavit. Thereafter cause a notice to be published in any three national dailies announcing the lost of the C of O and then wait for at least three months. You can then submit the Police report, Court affidavit, and excerpts of the newspaper publications and the re-certification team would look into the issue positively.

We inherited a piece of land my brothers) and (me whose picture will be on the new certificate of occupancy C of O?
No picture shall be on the new C-of-O. Where however the estates of the deceased is shared among the heirs, each beneficiaries can in evidence of letters from Court take up his portion with his picture on the new C-of-O.

My father holds a certificate of occupancy C-of-O and died without a will. What can I do to get the title transferred to the family?
Obtain a Letter of Administration from a court of competent jurisdiction, present it to the re–certification team and the new title document can be issued to the family.

I bought a right of occupancy R of O from someone I cannot trace now. How do I get the new title document?
Paragraph 2 iii of the R of O states thus; ''Not to alienate the Right of Occupancy hereby granted or any part thereof by sale, assignment, mortgage, transfer or possession, sublease or bequest or otherwise however without the consent of the President first had and obtained.''
The Minister of FCT is the President's delegate. In buying the R of O from the original allotted, holder, or the owner did you comply with the above condition? If you have complied then you have no problem in obtaining the new title document.

I do not agree with the computation for bill payment. How do I reconcile and re-certify my title document?
Present your complaint in writing to the re-certification team. It is their responsibility to look into such complaint and rectify whatever error might have occurred.

I didn't hear about Re-certification until the exercise is over, how do I get the new C of O. ?
Nine month is considered sufficient time for every person with a good case to present given the wide publicity that would be going on with this exercise Any title holder who fails to certify his offer or R of O or get it re-issued as appropriate within the time period, will be deemed to be holding a forgery, and the land in question re-possessed by the Minister of FCT. However if there is any genuine case, it could be presented to the Minister and would be treated purely on its own merit.

I did not have money to pay the backlog or outstanding bills. How do I re-certify my title documents?
It is compulsory for a holder of a Statutory Right of Occupancy to pay all charges payable on a grant. Failure or neglect to pay any or all the various land charges could constitute a ground that could lead to the withdrawal or revocation of such a Right of Occupancy.

In cases of double or multiple allocations, who among the allotted will re-certify?

The first to be allocated the plot gets the new re-certified title document. The second allotted would be considered for a suitable alternative. This is to allow for equity, fairness and justice all the parties involved.

If during re-certification, it is found that my property is in sewer line, will it be demolished?
A sewer line is a public utility line. The City of Abuja has a central sewer facility, which should be protected at all times. Structures on Sewer lines are time bombs and any form of development on top of such a facility could be very dangerous and constitute serious hazards to human health. Any property erected on a sewer line or any other utility line (such as water and under power lines) cannot be allowed to remain in place. It is obligatory for such structures to be removed for overriding public interest.

I live in a foreign country and cannot come to Abuja to re-certify my title document. What do I do?
Re-certification forms can be obtained from all the Nigerian Missions abroad. The form can also be downloaded from the Internet via It is expected that whoever has an investment anywhere in this world would try to protect that investment at all cost. An investment such as a property in Abuja cannot be regarded as a small investment. A return-trip from any part of the world to Nigeria in order to safeguard an investment worth millions of Naira should not be regarded as waste. A trip to Abuja should for that reason be considered as a good business decision. However, some exceptional cases might be given complimentary consideration by the Minister.

How soon do I have to re-certify my title document?
Only nine months (from August 1st 2004 to April 30th 2005.) 

Will extension of time be granted for re-certification?
No.  Extension of time will not be granted for re-certification.


  1. we are a cooperative body we need a land for estate for our members we ve found one we have documents how do we go about validating the said lad from AGIS ???

  2. How does one determine the ground rent of a property?


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