A snapshot of the land market in Lagos - Nigeria. Q1 2012
Lagos is the commercial capital of Nigeria with a total population including suburbs estimated in excess of 18 million people. It is one of the most densely populated
and fastest growing cities in the world. The UN predicts that Lagos will be the third most populated city in the world by 2015.
The Land Use Act of 1978 converted all land to State-ownership to be managed by the Governor of the State in which it situated "for the use and common benefit of all Nigerians". No land, therefore, is in private ownership. It is leased from the State.
Purchasing of property in Nigeria is not without risks. The Petroleum Act of 1969 and Land Use Act of 1978 allow the government to take over land. The compensation scheme covers only the "unexhausted improvements" to the land but not the land itself. These factors combined with corruption and years of autocratic rule, mean that uncompensated expropriation of property does take place.
The purchase procedure is also complex and carries risks. The Index of Economic Freedom reports under Property Rights: "One of the world's least efficient property registration systems makes acquiring and maintaining rights to real estate property difficult."