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GOVERNOR’S CONSENT: What you should know

Posted by Uget Properties on May 24, 2019

GOVERNOR’S CONSENT: What you should know

Governor’s consent is one of the most important title documents in Nigeria. It is a document issued by the state government to a land, real estate or other property owner in the state, citing that he/she has purchased and have a full right of occupancy of the property.

The Nigeria Land Use Act of 1978 was meant to regulate land procurement and standardize its administration across Nigeria. The act entrusted all land in the urban area of a state to the state government and those in the rural area to the local government authorities. Hence, by this act, the state and local government possessed the authority to grant legal right of occupancy to procurers.

The Importance of Governor’s Consent

Having a large sum of money to purchase a landed property is not all that is needed to procure and fully have lasting access to the property. In order to be assured of full ownership, you need to be formally recognized by the state government as the rightful owner of the property, otherwise you might be in for future regrets. Unfortunately, buying properties in Nigeria, a huge number of people are defrauded of their life savings on daily basis in the course of trying to procure a property. As a matter of fact, it is alleged that not up to 10% of Nigeria’s owned land is formally purchased and registered with federal, state or local government authorities, this implies that over 90% of land owners might be at risk of losing their property, either as an already developed real estate or just a bare land.   

Are there real estate terms you want to find out their meaning, check A – Z of Real Estate Terms

 Governor’s consent and Certificate of Occupancy, which do you need?

People usually misconstrue certificate of occupancy to governor’s consent. Both are statutory rights given to land and property owners but there are dissimilarities. A Certificate of Occupancy is granted to the first owner of a virgin land (a land that have not been previously occupied by any individual or government agency.) The custodian of the C of O of a land is expected by law to renew it after every 99 years. Similarly, a Governor’s Consent is issued to a new owner of a land that has been initially occupied by someone else who decides to transfer ownership of the property. Section 22 of the land use act states that “it shall not be lawful for the holder of a statutory Right of Occupancy granted by the governor of a state to alienate his Right of Occupancy or any part thereof by assignment, sublease, without the Consent of the governor.” In a nutshell, this means there can only be one recipient of a certificate of occupancy in a particular land, which is the first person that acquires a virgin land, other successive occupants of the land must get the governor’s consent. Note that the C of O of any property will not be replicated for another occupant of the property even if the property has been sold or transferred to them, he or she is only entitled to get a governor’s consent.   

Are you a tenant, read this :Tenants: Know Your Right

Definition of Governor’s Consent

A governor’s consent is therefore a document issued by the state government to a land, real estate or other property owner in the state, citing that he/she has purchased and have a full right of occupancy of the property. This is pertinent so as to ensure authenticity and to stop the property from being sold or obtained by the government without the owner’s consent. The process of getting a governor’s consent of a property in Nigeria varies from state to state and is usually carried out from the ministry of land, within a stipulated period of time.

Some real estate agents can go as far as having a piece of property for sale and selling it to different buyers so as to make more gains, in this situations, the first buyer who gets the governor’s consent on the property, becomes the rightful owner while others count their losses or seek legal action against the seller.

How the real estate commission works in Nigeria

The following are required while getting a Governor’s consent

To apply for Governor’s Consent, you are required to provide the following: Deed of assignment; a legal document stating the agreement between the seller and buyer of a land or real estate property in the course of procuring the property. It states categorically, that the proper now belongs to the buyer not the seller. Others include, land information certificate, deed of sub-lease, a sketch of site location, deed of partition, if developed, copies of approved building plan, deed of mortgage, evidence of payment of ground, etc.  

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