Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc Ahmed Musa Dangiwa has disclosed the intention of the federal government to establish a National Land Commission in order to enhance land administration matters in Nigeria.
Dangiwa made the disclosure, Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 while declaring open the 28th Conference of Directors of Land holding in Lagos.
The theme of the 28th Conference is “Improving Land-Based Revenue of the Federating Units in Nigeria through Efficient and Effective Land Administration.”
The minister said that the commission, when established, would serve as a complimentary institution that would provide necessary framework, guidelines and regulation operationalizing the Land Use Act of 1978 to achieve efficient land administration in Nigeria.
Dangiwa also acknowledged that some of the challenges impeding efficient land administration in Nigeria were beyond the capacity of the Conference and Directors to resolve, pointing out, the most fundamental ones such as the Land Use Act 1978 would require legislative amendments and national government policy interventions.
“Currently we have a situation where the Land Use Act was enacted in 1978 but there was no complementary institution set up alongside it to provide the necessary framework, guidelines, and regulations for operationalising it. We are working to establish a National Land Commission that would fix this gap and chart a new way forward for effective land administration in the country,” the minister noted.
According to Dangiwa, the National Land Commission when established “will improve land titling and boost Nigeria’s ranking on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business where we currently rank 186th out of 190 countries on the World , Ease of Doing Business index in terms of ease of registering properties, land reform strategy.”
Accordingly, he said “the notable part of our broad housing sector reforms includes the implementation of comprehensive land reforms towards streamlining land administration and ensuring easy, cost effective and efficient access to land in our country.”
The minister further stated that the second related reform is the adoption of the Model Mortgage Foreclosure Law nationwide.
He explained the Model Mortgage Foreclosure Law (MMFL) to be a housing industry stakeholder initiative and part of the Renewed Hope Agenda of His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that is focused on establishing an enabling environment for investment in real estate and the growth of mortgages in a state.
Accordingly, it provides contemporary provisions on the creation, registration, and enforcement of mortgages, along with remedies like foreclosure and the enforcement of mortgages on real properties and related purposes in Nigeria.
In addition, the Minister mentioned that the Model Mortgage Foreclosure Law (MMFL) has been passed in four (4) states, including Lagos, Kaduna, Ekiti, and Nasarawa States and urged Directors to work with their state governors to ensure they key into the laudable policy as the federal government was interested in driving its passage in all the states of the federation.
Dangiwa, while describing the importance of land in revenue generation for the country, said over 300 billion naira in capital land assets can be generated as an investment into the coffers of Nigeria if land is properly harnessed.
The Minister urged the participants to critically examine measures that government can act on in the interim before the National Land Commission is established and they include digitization of land titling process to improve ease of doing business, fostering synergy between public and private investors in housing delivery, checking the trend of double titling and multiple charges on Federal Government properties in the states, all of which is aimed at improving land based revenue in the tiers.
“At the end of your deliberations, it is hoped that you will come up with meaningful and workable solution to most of the problems confronting land administration and management at the various tiers of Government,” he urged.
He added, “my charge to all of you attending this 2023 Conference is that we must think out of the box, innovate, and learn to do things differently. That will help us make progress and change the narrative going forward”.
The Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu who was represented by the Special Adviser on Housing, Hon. Barakat Bakare, Lagos state, said that the state government has constructed about 20 million housing projects in in the state through direct budgetary allocation as part of its efforts to reduce the housing deficit in the country.
In his keynote address, the Director, Lands, Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, ESV Felix Appah, while commending Lands and Housing Development Department of the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for being innovative in land administration system, mentioned the great strides made by the department in growing the country’s revenue generation through incomes from land charges such as: consent fees, ground rent and registration fees, adding the ministry inaugurated the e-C of O, an automated land titling process at the beginning of year 2023 to boost ease of doing business in Nigeria.
The conference of Directors of Lands is an annual event which creates an enabling environment for Directors of Lands from the 36 states of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory as well key stakeholders with varied experiences in the public and private sector to converge and share ideas on how to generate a policies for effective and efficient land administration beneficial to Nigeria and its citizens.
Salisu Haiba Badamasi