REQUIREMENTS FOR OBTAINING A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY (CofO) IN NIGERIA (LAGOS AND OGUN STATE)
In Nigeria, for a person to successfully establish ownership or acquisition of land or landed property, such individual will have to show a document that indicates ownership. The following are title documents a person can possess to show ownership of land or landed properties:
2. Certificate of Occupancy
3. Court vesting order or certificate of purchase
4. Deed of assignment/conveyance
5. Deed of legal mortgage
6. Deed of gift
7. Right of Occupancy
Among the above, Certificate of Occupancy has become the most popular evidence of title. This is because it is statutorily provided for and issued by the State Government. Also, financial institutions regard the C of O as a reliable form of collateral and have a preference for this over other land documents.
It is important to note that the documents and process required for the issuance of C of O to a Statutory right of Occupancy holder by the State Government differs from State to State. In this article, we consider the process for obtaining a C of O in Lagos State.
CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
Though it is a fundamental right in Nigeria that every citizen can acquire and own land anywhere in Nigeria, this right however is not absolute. It is granted at the discretion of the Governor of the state where the land is, after some qualifications have been met. Certificate of Occupancy, generally called a C of O, is the document issued by State governments in Nigeria to landowners and property buyers as a legitimate proof of ownership after requirements have been met.
APPLICATION FOR C of O
The process of applying for the C of O is partly dependent on whether the land is obtained from the State Government or a private person. When buying directly from the State Government, the buyer is to start application for C of O as soon as the sale of the property is finalized as there is no doubt as to ownership or authenticity of the power to sell such land. Whereas when buying from families or the popular “omo onile”, it is compulsory to make findings to ensure that the property indeed belongs to the people claiming ownership to it.
REQUIREMENTS FOR C of O IN LAGOS STATE
An applicant who is a Statutory right of Occupancy holder is expected to duly complete an Application form and provide these documents at the point of applying for a C of O in Lagos:
1. Land information certificate.
2. Receipt for land information fee.
3. Receipt for application form.
4. Publication/inspection fee.
5. Capital contribution (to be calculated based on the size and location of land).
6. Land purchase receipt/agreement (duly stamped).
7. Copy of current tax clearance certificate (individuals).
8. Copy of N100 development levy receipt.
9. Site location sketch.
10. Four passport photographs of applicant with white background.
11. Copy of approved building plan (if developed).
12. Copy of tenement rate receipt (if occupied) or Land Use Charge.
13. Cover letter addressed to the Executive Secretary, Land Use Allocation Committee (LUAC), stating all documents attached, as above and typed with applicant’s address.
C OF O PROCESS IN LAGOS STATE
1. File an application to obtain the land information from the Surveyor General’s office at Alausa. This process usually costs between #10,000 – #12,000
2. Purchase of private certificate of occupancy application form.
3. The application form is submitted with the above mentioned documents
4. A publication is then made giving room to any person who wants to object to the application. The objection period being 21 days. This costs #10,000.
5. The next step is the site inspection and report conducted by the Land Use Allocation Committee. A report is made which is used in processing the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy.
6. Certificate of Occupancy is then drafted, typed, and submitted for recommendation for execution of Certificate of Occupancy (by Executive Secretary, Land Use Allocation Committee, Senior Special Assistant Lands & Permanent Secretary Lands).
7. Execution of Certificate of Occupancy (by Governor)
8. The Certificate of Occupancy is duly stamped by the Commissioner for Stamp Duties and registered at the registry.
9. The duly executed and registered Certificate of Occupancy can be picked up from the Land Use Allocation Committee collection office.
REQUIRED FEES FOR A C OF O IN LAGOS
There are administrative fees to be paid when applying for a C of O in Lagos, which sometimes change from time to time. There are also statutory fees, which hardly change and are calculated based on the Fair Market Value (FMV) of the property. The statutory fees are pegged and indicated in the table The FMV is typically calculated per m2, based on where the land is situated.
PARTICULAR SCALE OF CHARGES
CONSENT CONSENT FEE 1.5% of Fair Market Value
CAPITAL GAINS TAX 0.5% of Fair Market Value
STAMP DUTY 0.5% of Market value
REGISTRATION FEES 0.5% of Fair Market Value
ELECTRONIC CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY LAGOS
In a bid to ease the stress of acquiring several documents for property bought in Lagos state, the State Government introduced in 2015, the new Electronic Certificate of Occupancy. The introduction of the Electronic C of O in Lagos under the New Lagos State Certificate of Occupancy project will on the long run, withdraw and replace all existing C of Os in circulation. The Electronic C of Os, is expected to be genuine and verifiable.
The objective of the project is to establish a fully automated and computerized method for issuing C-of-O in Lagos and reduce the bulk of documents required in the process of land transactions. This method will also save buyers from fraudulent sellers such that upon inputting the C of O number on a computer system, all existing transactions that have been carried out on the said property will be provided hence the buyer knows if the property is encumbered or not.
At CHAMAN LAW FIRM we understand that the process of obtaining C of O in Lagos can be exasperating and can in certain instances take years and hinder ease of doing business. We are here to help you or your company successfully establish ownership or acquisition of land by getting your C of O in Lagos and other states in the Federation.
By: CHAMAN LAW FIRM
Phone: 08065553671, 08024200080
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com