The endorsement of the Land Use Decree (later the Land Use Act) in 1978 brought about the conferring of exclusive powers over land within the territory of any given State to the Governor of the State. The outcome was that fundamental ownership of land was conferred in the Governor and private persons were only eligible to a leasehold interest through a right of occupancy. The Act further necessitates that the consent of the Governor has to be obtained prior to any method of alienation or assignment of property by the holder of a right of occupancy. The effect of this was that any assignment of interests or mortgages required the consent of the Governor to be legally enforceable.
Whether there was duress or not, the law under section 22(2) of the Land use Act recognizes cases where some form of written agreement executed in evidence of a transaction is submitted to the Governor in order to obtain consent as required by the section. Therefore, for a transaction of this nature to be binding, the parties to it must first enter into a requisite agreement such as deed of assignment, deed sub-lease, deed of partition, deed of mortgage and son on to alienate subject to the consent of the Governor, it is that consent that vests a valid title on the purchaser.
It is now settled on the authorities cited above, that the provision of Section 22(1) of the Act is mandatory and makes obtaining of the Governor’s consent a pre-condition for the validity of any alienation of a right of occupancy under the Land Use Act, 1978. This is so because, it is a long standing principle of law that, were a statute requires ministerial approval for the sale of property, approval to enter into a contract for the sale of that property is not prohibited. What is required is approval to complete the sale; otherwise, the sale will be null.
Meanwhile, it is common knowledge that the Governor’s Consent is required in a transaction for the sale of land, but many people are ignorant to the legal status of a transaction that does not have the Governor’s Consent. As a result, when they contract, parties try all kinds of tricks in a bid to avoid the time, bureaucratic and financial requirements of obtaining the Governor’s consent. The first person on a Virgin Land that has neither been occupied by another person nor under acquisition by the Government on that land with a Certificate of Occupancy decides to sell his land to another person after so many years, who must now obtain the Consent of the Governor before that transaction can be deemed legal in the eyes of the Government. If the new buyer now decides to sell the land again to a third owner in future, that Third owner must also obtain a new Consent of the Governor before that transaction can be deemed legal in the eyes of the Government and the process continues every time the property changes hands to a new buyer. In other words, the first person on a land is the only person or group of persons entitled to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy. Every subsequent buyer of that land must get a Governor’s consent. There can only be one (1) Owner of the Certificate of Occupancy on a Land and it will not be replicated for another person once the land has been sold or transferred to another person.
Therefore, it is very important for a purchaser of land to perfect his or her document by obtaining a Governor’s consent so as to have a complete rest of mind because if another person should obtain consent before him/her on same land, the person that the transaction has been consented by the Governor shall be regarded as the valid owner. Although it is good to buy a land that already has a Global C of O or the Land has a Gazette, it still doesn’t give you the full satisfaction that you own the land without any form of fear or intrusion by land speculators. Your documents have not been perfected and the consent of the Governor to that transaction has not been obtained.
It’s because of this situation whereby the speculators know that purchasers of land do not want to spend money to get Governor’s Consent that they will begin to resell people’s lands to multiple buyers because they know it’s only the purchaser that perfects his title by obtaining the Governors consent that can lay claim to that land validly in the eyes of the law. That’s why I encourage people who buy land/landed property to immediately start the process of obtaining Governors consent after they have bought a land and a Deed of Assignment has been drawn up. Delay has been shown to be very fatal and we should learn from the past experiences of others who have fallen victim to this situation.
Obtaining a Governors Consent from the Land Bureau doesn’t come easy despite the importance attached to it and urgency needed to secure a land. On the Government web page, it is stated that a Governors Consent can be obtained within 30 days but that has proven to be very untrue due to bureaucracy at land bureaus, a Governor’s consent that naturally could end within 30 days could translate to 6-months or a Year depending on the strength of your agent/consultant handling the job.
In all, a Governors Consent is a very good document to obtain and I advise you to get it so as to free yourself from unwanted situation 100%. An advantage of having a Governor’s consent is that you can transfer your land to another person without going back to the initial seller or Family Head to sign your deed and Form 1c which are compulsory requirements needed before you can process Governors consent. Land speculators pray seriously for the Owner not to have a Governors consent so that they can make a lot of money running into Thousands whenever the Owner require the signatures of the family to start the Governors consent.
It’s even very tough now for Land Buyers because a major requirement by the government now is that you must obtain a Governor’s consent before you obtain a building plan approval. If it takes 6months to a year before they get their Consent. When will the person now get his approval? Stepping aside the criticism of those in charge of processing the C of O, You should try as much as possible to get a Governors Consent for all your genuine land so as to completely live a straight forward life devoid of trouble.
Governors Consent must contain the Following:
- The Form 1c must be signed by the purchaser and vendor that has either a Gazette or Global C of O or in the case of an Individual that has a private C of O granted to him by the Governor.
- Three copies of Deed of Assignment must be prepared by the Buyer’s lawyer who must include signatures of the parties to the transaction, the cost of the land/property, size of the land description of the land, the copy of the survey attached to it and signature of witnesses to the transaction.
- Three Passport photographs of the assignee on white background attached to the front page of each copy of deed.
- The Consent will be heavily stamped from the beginning to the end and upon completion and payment of the requisite fees, the Governor or his representatives such as the Commissioners will sign and date the Consent and stamp it with their official Seal.
- The land bureau after that will assign a Consent number to that document for reference purpose for life and it’s with this Consent number, your documents will be registered and recorded in their archives for future references.
Meanwhile, to ease the stress of acquiring documents for property bought in Lagos State, the state government is introducing the new Electronic Certificate of Occupancy.
The current paper, Certificate of Occupancy being used in Lagos state will be phased out and replaced by a more secure electronic land title format in line with acceptable international standards on land administration and management.
With the introduction of the Electronic C of O under the New Lagos State Certificate of Occupancy project, all C of O’s currently in circulation might be withdrawn and replaced with the e-C-of-O, which officials say will be genuine and verifiable. The objective of the project is to establish a fully automated and computerized method for issuing C-of-O’s and increase public/investor confidence by instilling integrity in the C-of-O’s issued by the state government in ensuring that it has state-of-the-art security features, to avoid fraudulent practices, also the paper that would be used as physical evidence of possessing the electronic certificate had been specially designed by a world renowned security document company.
Here below are documents needed for obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) on State Government allocated Land in Lagos State
- Formal Application Letter addressed to the Executive Secretary – Land Use and Allocation Committee, Block 13, Room 4, Lands Bureau, The Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja.
- Standard Allocation Form with Receipt. Lekki Pennisula Schemes, Abijo Commercial and Industrial (Form for Prime Land); other areas (Form for General).
- Four Passport Photographs with white background.
- Evidence of payment of Income Tax.
- Current Development Levy (In case of company, Evidence of payment of Income Tax of Two Directors and Development Levy).
- E-Survey Plan
- All payment receipts of Land Charges.
- Completed Vital Information Form
Here are the requirements for obtaining C of O on private/individual land:
- Apply for land information and get your land information certificate. To do this, you need to pay an application fee at the Surveyor General’s office and provide a chartable survey plan (2 cloth, 2 paper).
- Purchase a C of O application form.
- Fill and submit the application form at the Land Use Allocation Commission (LUAC) office with the following supporting documents:
* Land information certificate.
- Receipt for land information fee.
- Receipt for application form.
- Publication/inspection fee.
- Capital contribution (to be calculated based on size and location of land).
- Land purchase receipt/agreement (duly stamped).
- Copy of current tax clearance certificate (individuals).
- Copy of development levy receipt.
- Site location sketch.
- Four passport photographs of applicant with white background.
- Copy of approved building plan (if developed).
- Copy of tenement rate receipt (if occupied) or Land Use Charge.
- Cover letter addressed to executive secretary LUAC, stating all documents attached, as above and typed with applicant’s address.
Here are the required documents for obtaining Governor’s Consent:
- Completed form 1c;
- Certified true copy of grantor’s title document;
- Grantor’s tax clearance certificate and development receipt;
- Grantee’s tax clearance certificate and development receipt;
- Four numbers of executed Deed of Assignment, Deed of Sublease, Mortgage or Power of Attorney (depending on transaction);
- Chartable survey plans;
- Evidence of payment for charting, endorsement and form 1c;
- Evidence of payment of Ground Rent/Land Use Charge;
Original letter of confirmation of payment of capital contribution from NTDA in respect of Lekki Peninsular Scheme Areas
- Building plan (if developed) and photograph of property.
- Site Photographs showing adjourning properties with date.
CALCULATION OF CONSENT FEES:
Note: The assessment for consent charges is based on location and the applicable fair market value (FMV) compiled and published in Lagos State Official Gazette No. 10 Vol. 48 dated 5th February, 2015.Some portion of the FMV is reproduced in the table below from the Gazette.
The Consent Fee on Mortgages is fixed at 0.25% of the loan which is equivalent to ₦2,500 per ₦1 million of loan.
The Registration Fee at 0.5% of the loan which is equivalent to N5,000 per N1 million of loan.
Multiply the size of the land by the applicable fair market value rate in the State Official Gazette.
Multiply the spot assessment rate in the table below by the number of units of accommodation.
Thereafter, determine the fees payable as follows:
Consent Fee – 1.5% of fair value of the land (3% in cases of State Land allocation where statutory right of occupancy has run for less than 10 years).
Capital Gains Tax- 0.5% of fair value of the land
Stamp Duty- 0.5% of fair value of the land
Registration Fees- 0.5% of fair value of the land.
Neighbourhood Improvement Charges (for private and excised lands) – Size of land X N2/m2 X Number of years of relevant title.
We believe you have been duly informed and enlightened about reasons you have to process consent or certificate of occupancy on your property, very necessary. However, we are a consulting firm specialized in processing of Governor’s Consent and Certificate of Occupancy for our numerous clients and would love to process yours for you at affordable fee.