HomeGeneral NewsProperty Titles in Nigeria: The process of transferring a property title

Property Titles in Nigeria: The process of transferring a property title

Property Titles in Nigeria’ Are you planning on purchasing or investing in property in Nigeria? If so, it’s important to understand the different types of property titles that exist and how they can impact your ownership rights. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of property titles in Nigeria, including Excision & Gazette, Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), Governor’s consent, Probate & Letter of Administration, Receipts, Deed of Assignment and Survey Plans. We’ll cover what each title means, how to obtain them and why having a clear title is crucial for any property transaction. So sit back and read on to become an expert on Nigerian property titles!

What is a property title?

A property title is a legal document that proves ownership of a particular property. It serves as proof that the owner has the right to use, sell or transfer their interest in the property. Property titles are essential because they provide security and protect owners from fraudulent claims.

In Nigeria, there are different types of property titles available depending on various factors such as location and land use. The most common ones include excision & gazette, certificate of occupancy (C of O), governor’s consent, probate & letter of administration, receipt, deed of assignment and survey plan.

Property Titles in Nigeria
Property Titles in Nigeria

Getting a valid property title in Nigeria requires following specific procedures outlined by law which differ depending on the type of title you want to obtain. These procedures usually involve obtaining necessary documents and approvals from relevant government agencies.

Having a valid property title comes with numerous benefits such as providing legal protection for your investment and enabling access to mortgage facilities which can help finance further development projects. Therefore it is essential to ensure you have a proper title before making any real estate transactions.

In summary, understanding what constitutes a valid property title in Nigeria is crucial when investing in real estate since it provides security for your investment while also ensuring compliance with all legal requirements laid out by regulatory authorities.

How to get a property title in Nigeria

Getting a property title in Nigeria can be a daunting task, especially for first-time buyers. However, it is an important step towards securing your investment and avoiding legal issues in the future. Here are some steps to follow when getting a property title in Nigeria:

Firstly, you should conduct due diligence on the property you intend to buy. This involves verifying that the seller is the rightful owner of the land or building and that there are no disputes over ownership.

Next, proceed to obtain an application form from either state government or local council offices depending on where the property is located.

You will then need to submit your application along with required documents such as proof of payment for necessary fees and taxes, survey plan, deed of assignment etc., at any Land registry office within your state.

After submitting all relevant documentation along with your application form, you’ll need to wait for approval by relevant authorities before collecting your Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) which serves as evidence of ownership.

It’s important that after obtaining C of O; perfect other vital titles like Governor’s consent and Deed of Assignment if they were not provided alongside earlier mentioned documents at initial submission stage.

The Different Types of Property Titles in Nigeria Details

  1. Excision & Gazette

Excision refers to the process of removing a portion of land from government acquisition. This means that the land is no longer considered part of the government-owned property and can be sold or transferred to individuals or entities. Once an excision has been granted, it must be published in the Gazette, which is a governmental publication where legal notices are made public.

The Gazette serves as proof that the land has been excised and is now available for sale or transfer. It’s important to note that without proper gazetting, any sale or transfer will not hold up in court.

It’s also essential to verify if a piece of land actually has an existing excision before making any purchase. Some unscrupulous sellers may claim that their property has already undergone an excision even when it hasn’t happened yet.

Obtaining an Excision & Gazette title can be a long and tedious process due to bureaucratic red tape and corruption within some agencies involved in granting approvals. However, having this title provides security against possible future claims on ownership by third parties with government interest over lands previously under acquisition status.

2. Certificate of Occupancy (C of O)

A Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is a legal document issued by the government, specifically the state government or Federal Capital Territory Administration. It recognizes an individual as the rightful owner of a particular property and grants them full ownership rights over it.

To obtain a C of O, one must go through an application process with the relevant authorities. This involves providing necessary documentation such as proof of payment for land use charge, survey plan, deed of assignment and other relevant documents.

The issuance of C of O assures prospective buyers that they are dealing with legally recognized owners and gives them confidence in their investment decision. It also serves as proof that all necessary fees have been paid to secure ownership rights.

It’s important to note that obtaining a CofO can be quite challenging due to bureaucratic bottlenecks which often result in delays and high costs. However, it remains crucial for anyone looking to invest in real estate or own property in Nigeria.

3. Governor’s consent

Governor’s consent is a vital aspect of property ownership in Nigeria. It refers to the approval that must be granted by the state governor before any transaction involving landed property can be considered valid. The process of obtaining Governor’s consent involves submitting an application for title transfer to the State Ministry of Lands and then waiting for the governor’s authorization.

The need for Governor’s consent arises when there is a change in ownership or interest in land, such as when selling, leasing, or mortgaging a property. Without this approval, such transactions are deemed illegal and nullified under Nigerian law.

It should be noted that obtaining Governor’s consent can often take time and may require several steps to complete. In some cases, it could take up to six months or more before all necessary approvals are obtained from various government agencies involved in verifying title documents.

Despite the challenges associated with obtaining Governor’s consent, having this approval is crucial because it serves as proof of legality and authenticity of land ownership rights. Thus, it provides protection against fraudulent activities related to land transactions while securing your investment interests over time.

4. Probate & Letter of Administration

Probate and Letter of Administration are legal documents that give individuals the authority to manage the assets and properties left by a deceased person. In Nigeria, when someone dies owning property or assets, their heirs will need either a Probate or Letter of Administration before they can access these assets.

A Probate is obtained when there is a Will left by the deceased. This document confirms that the Will has been deemed valid in court, and it gives the executor named in the Will permission to execute its terms as stated. On the other hand, if there was no Will left behind, then an administrator must apply for a Letter of Administration instead.

SIMILAR ARTICLE: Verifying Property Titles in Nigeria: The Nitty Gritty – Challenges Faced During Property Title Verification

The process of obtaining probate or letter of administration involves submitting several legal documents to a probate registry with jurisdiction over where the individual lived at death. These legal documents include copies of death certificates, Wills (if applicable), letters from witnesses confirming how they knew your relative and proof that all debts owed have been paid off.

Once you have successfully obtained either a Probate or Letter of Administration for your loved one’s estate, you are now legally authorized to distribute their assets according to their wishes (as stated in their last will) while also ensuring compliance with all relevant laws regarding inheritance.

5. Receipt.

A receipt is a written or printed acknowledgement that a payment has been received for goods or services. In the context of property titles in Nigeria, receipts are crucial documents because they serve as proof of payment made by an individual for the purchase of land or property.

When buying a property in Nigeria, it is essential to obtain and keep all receipts related to the transaction. These receipts should include details such as the date of payment, the amount paid, the name and address of both parties involved in the transaction, description of the property being sold/purchased.

Receipts play an important role when applying for other necessary documents required to secure your property title such as Survey Plan and Deed of Assignment. It provides evidence that you have genuinely acquired ownership over your land or building.

It’s also important to note that obtaining a receipt alone does not necessarily guarantee full ownership rights over a piece of land. Still, it serves as proof that you’ve started taking steps towards owning one.

In summary, Receipts are crucial pieces of evidence when purchasing real estate properties in Nigeria; hence every buyer must ensure they have them duly signed by both parties involved.

6. Deed of Assignment

A Deed of Assignment is a legal document that serves as evidence of the transfer of ownership or interest in a property from one party to another. It is an important document that should be carefully prepared and executed to avoid complications in the future.

The Deed of Assignment must contain relevant details such as names and addresses of both parties, description of the property being transferred, purchase price, payment terms, and any other conditions agreed upon by both parties.

It is common practice for sellers or developers to use Deeds of Assignment when selling off-plan properties. This allows buyers to obtain legal ownership rights over their property before it’s completed.

When acquiring a property with a Deed of Assignment, it’s important to conduct due diligence on the seller and verify that they have legal authority over the property. This can help prevent fraudulent transactions and ensure that you’re not buying into any disputes or encumbrances.

Having a properly executed Deed of Assignment guarantees security and peace of mind when investing in Nigerian real estate.

7. Survey Plan

A survey plan is a critical document in the process of acquiring and registering a property title in Nigeria. It’s an essential piece of paper that shows the accurate size, shape and boundaries of the land.

Usually, it contains information about the location, dimensions, bearings and coordinates of a particular piece of land. The survey plan helps to prevent boundary disputes between neighbours or potential buyers by providing clear evidence on where one property ends and another begins.

In Nigeria, survey plans are prepared by licensed surveyors who are registered with the Surveyor Council of Nigeria (SURCON). Before any construction work can begin on a parcel of land, it must be surveyed to produce an up-to-date and accurate survey plan.

Moreover, when buying or selling a property in Nigeria, it’s important to ensure that there is an updated survey plan available for review. This will help you identify any issues relating to encroachment or illegal occupation on your prospective purchase before making any commitments.

Therefore, having an updated and accurate survey plan is crucial when purchasing real estate properties in Nigeria as it guarantees protection against possible legal complications regarding boundary disputes.

The benefits of having a property title

Having a property title is crucial for anyone who owns or plans to own real estate in Nigeria. Here are some benefits of having a property title:

Firstly, it provides legal ownership of the property. A valid and recognized title will protect your rights as the owner and safeguard you against any potential disputes that may arise.

Secondly, it enables you to transfer ownership easily. If you ever decide to sell your property, having a proper title will streamline the process by providing all necessary information about the property’s history and legal status.

Thirdly, obtaining financing becomes easier with a valid title since banks require titles as collateral before granting loans.

Fourthly, it enhances marketability. Buyers tend to prefer properties with clear titles because they offer peace of mind knowing that there won’t be any future complications regarding ownership.

Owning a valid property title increases your net worth in terms of assets which can be used for personal reasons such as securing credit or investment purposes like trading on the stock market.

Having a legally recognized and validated property title comes with numerous advantages including peace of mind regarding legal ownership rights, easy transferability during sales or inheritance processes, improved loan eligibility from financial institutions, and enhanced marketability when selling/dealing properties among others.

The process of transferring a property title

The process of transferring a property title in Nigeria can be quite complex and time-consuming. It involves several steps and requires the involvement of various parties. The first step is to obtain all necessary documents related to the property, including the original title document, survey plan, deed of assignment, and receipts, among others.

Once all documents have been obtained and verified for authenticity by relevant government agencies like the land registry or Ministry of Lands, an agreement is then reached between both parties involved in the transfer. This agreement will outline the terms and conditions that will govern the transfer process.

Next is to obtain consent from appropriate authorities such as Governor’s Consent which has to be paid for at a fee determined by law (usually 6% but varies based on location). Once payment has been made or waivers applied where necessary in some cases after fulfilling certain conditions precedent (like obtaining excision) it takes about 30-60 days for processing.

After securing approval from relevant authorities, a Deed of Assignment is executed indicating full consideration received by seller while purchaser acknowledges receipt as full satisfaction of payment. A notification letter alongside other supporting documents are thereafter submitted for stamping at Inland Revenue before being registered with Registrar-General’s Office where applicable charges are also payable depending on location.


In conclusion, the process involved in transferring a property title can take some time due to legal requirements and documentation procedures which must be followed strictly. However, with proper guidance from experts such as real estate agents or lawyers who specialize in this field coupled with patience during each stage until completion – you can successfully transfer your property title without any issues whatsoever!

Property titles play a crucial role in the real estate industry. They provide proof of ownership and protect both the buyer’s and seller’s interests. With different types of property titles available in Nigeria, it is important to understand each one’s requirements before making any purchase.

Obtaining a property title can be a lengthy and complex process, but it is worth investing time and resources into ensuring that all legal requirements are met. This will not only give you peace of mind but also allow you to enjoy your property without any legal disputes or issues.

Whether you’re buying or selling a property in Nigeria, having proper documentation is essential for safeguarding your investment. By following the right steps and working with experienced professionals such as lawyers and surveyors, you’ll be able to navigate the process with ease while protecting yourself legally.

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