The land tenure system in Nigeria differs from the 36 states we have here across the country.
An appropriate land tenure system serves as a foundation for economic growth and a source of investment incentives. It allows for secure land ownership and rights, as well as the involvement of vulnerable groups such as women and low-income earners, as well as the reduction of conflict. When land rights are insecure, it leads to conflict, instability, tribal conflicts, and gender inequality, as women are denied the right to own or inherit land.
In this article, we will explain the meaning of Nigerian land tenure system as well as the major categories of land tenure and their characteristics.
Details About Land Tenure System in Nigeria
In Nigeria, the Land Tenure System is the process of giving property ownership to individuals, legal entities, corporations, and natural entities depending on their usage of the land. This procedure aims in safeguarding the public and sustainability of human habitats. Its main purpose is to help guide the manner an entity or group of persons occupies a particular area in the country, societies created the regulations that govern land tenure.
The system itself can be described as a set of laws, responsibilities, and rights that define a person’s obligations and privileges in relation to the land. The technique of management in terms of distribution, usage, acquisition, and exploitation of specific portions of land is defined by the land tenure system.
Nigeria’s land tenure system is a hot topic for debate, research, and review. The fundamental land law regimes and determinants of relevant land property rights and obligations. Land tenure in Nigeria is a complicated web of interconnections between many entities that govern land use. It also includes institutions that play a role in determining land ownership and use patterns. The government, customary laws, and other institutions are examples of these institutions.
Types of Land Tenure System in Nigeria
The major types of land tenure systems in Nigeria are as follows:
- Communal Land Tenure System
The communal land tenure system arrangement elevates the community as the land’s ruling power. The basis for land sharing or ownership is decided by the community’s leader. This approach promotes large-scale farming, but it cannot be utilized as a loan security.
- Leasehold Tenure System
A person is given temporary ownership of a plot of land by the owner in the form of a title. An individual may have temporary access to the land during the lease time, but it cannot be used as collateral for loans.
- Tenants at Government Will
Tenants at Government Will is a way in which the Federal Government of Nigeria distributes land to farmers. The land is inexpensive to purchase, but it cannot be used as collateral for the loan.
- Gift Tenure System
The voluntarily transfer of ownership rights from one landowner to another is known as the gift tenure system. The new proprietor might use this sort of land ownership as collateral for a loan. The new owner is also entitled to all of the advantages of land ownership. The new ownership status can, however, be reversed by a court judgment under this type of property tenure.
- Freehold Tenure System
In this situation, an individual or a group pays a set amount of money in exchange for the right to own a piece of land. It can be costly to purchase land under this tenancy. The land can be utilized to obtain loans from a financial institution, which is an advantage.
- Inheritance Tenure System
The transfer of land ownership rights to a successor following the primary owner’s death is known as an inheritance land tenure system. The next of kin of the landowner—usually the children—assumes the role of new landowners under this system. The main downside of this land tenure arrangement is that the beneficiary and other family members may have disagreements about the land allotment.
Rent Tenure System
In a rent tenure system, a tenant pays a set sum to the landlord for the privilege of utilizing the land for a set length of time. In comparison to leasehold arrangements, the rent period is comparatively short. Although this structure hinders tenants from making long-term plans.
- The Characteristics of Nigeria’s Land Tenure System
The Nigerian Land Tenure System consists of the following elements:
- An individual’s property right
- Land use within a community
- Possession of a common plot of land
- Transfer of a legally assigned plot of land.
- Advantages of Nigeria’s land tenure system
- It manifests as a system for governing the legal relationship between individuals and communities in terms of land usage.
- It’s a system that makes it possible for people to use and manage land and natural resources.
- It is supported by “Decrees,” which address all matters concerning lands in Nigeria, including ownership, descriptions, partition, inheritance, mortgages, purchase/sale transfers, and so on.
- Disadvantages of Nigeria’s land tenure system
It has roots in tradition and culture, which can lead to differing perspectives among people based on their religious and cultural backgrounds.
In summary, the land tenure system in Nigeria serves a very useful purpose in ensuring that the set of laws, responsibilities, and rights that define a person’s obligations and privileges in relation to the land are well adhered to.
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