Under the law of Nigeria, the foreigners can obtain lease from the state for a maximum period of 99 years for the use of land.
The law of Nigeria has converted all the lands to the State land by the way of the Land Use Act of 1978. This law makes the Governor of the state responsible for the entire management of the land on behalf of the people. Thus, you cannot own a private land in Nigeria. The consent of the Governor is always required for the assignment of the title regarding the use, occupancy as well as improvement of the property along with a statutory certificate.
One of the major peculiarities regarding the purchase of property in Nigeria, specifically within the area of Lagos is the consent fee. Since the state government is the owner of the land, the consent of the Governor is an important matter to consider in terms of change in ownership or assignment of the property.
The law of the lands levy a capital gains tax at the rate of 10 percent of the difference in between the original acquisition tax and sale price of the land in the country. The Ministry of Finance assesses and looks after this particular matter. Similar to the purchase of the property, the consent of the Governor of the state is required for the sale of the property and no land could be sold without obtaining the concerned consent.
An application involving the consent of the governor is submitted to the lands registry along with the following important documents:
- A certified true copy of the title document of the property.
- Four to six copies of the deed of transfer, assignment, conveyance, lease, sub-lease with attached survey plans.
- Photograph of the property.
- Current tax clearance certificates of the parties.
- Land form 1C.
The sale of real estate in Nigeria does not include the real selling or purchasing of the land, there is only a transfer of rights involved from one person to the other. This transaction is termed as assignment.
There are two different laws which govern the real estate in Nigeria namely, The Petroleum Act of 1969 and the Land Use Act of 1978 respectively. These laws allow the government to take over the land under the right of the state to eminent domain.
The purchase of property in Nigeria, however, involves certain risks, expropriation being one of them. Another difficult situation to deal with is the cadastral situation of the country as it has its own border disputes with Cameroon located in the south.
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