How Land Use Act is delaying the process of housing development

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image source: The Guardian Nigeria

By Taiwo Ajayi

The Land Use Act, which was enacted in 1978, has been criticized for posing challenges to housing development in Nigeria. The act has created a complex and bureaucratic process for acquiring land, involving multiple layers of government approvals, permits, and licenses. This has made it difficult for individuals and businesses to access and acquire land, hindering investment and economic growth.

The act also puts excessive administrative control in the hands of state governors, who are responsible for granting land approvals. This has led to a concentration of power and the potential for abuse and corruption in the land allocation process.

In addition, the act restricts the purpose for which land can be allocated, limiting its potential for multiple uses. This has hindered the maximization of land and has been a barrier to economic development and innovation.

The act is also seen as overly regulatory in approach, with rigid rules and regulations that do not reflect the realities of the housing market. This has stifled investment and economic activity in the housing sector.

As a result of these challenges, the Land Use Act has been a major obstacle to the development of affordable housing in Nigeria. The act has made it difficult for developers to acquire land, obtain permits, and build homes. This has led to high housing costs and a shortage of affordable housing units.

There is a need to revise and streamline the Land Use Act in order to address these challenges and create a more efficient and equitable land administration system that meets the needs of Nigeria’s growing population and housing demand.

Some of the key reforms that are needed include:

Streamlining the land acquisition process by reducing the number of required approvals and permits.

Decentralizing the land administration system to give local governments more control over land use.

Increasing transparency and accountability in the land allocation process.
Allowing for more flexibility in land use, so that land can be used for multiple purposes.

These reforms would make it easier for individuals and businesses to acquire land, invest in housing development, and create more affordable housing units. They would also help to reduce corruption and abuse of power in the land allocation process.

The revision of the Land Use Act is a complex and challenging task, but it is essential to address the challenges that the act has created for housing development in Nigeria. By implementing the necessary reforms, the government can create a more efficient and equitable land administration system that will help to meet the housing needs of the Nigerian people.


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