‘94% of property in Lagos without title’

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Stakeholders in the building industry have disclosed that 94 per cent of property in Lagos State do not have legal titles.

They stated this in separate interviews with The According at the recent launch of Edge Facility Managers, which was held in Lagos.

The First Vice President of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Victor Alonge, said the way forward in maximising the dead capital in the country was to streamline the land titling process.

He said, “The dead capital is dead because the owners have no legal title to land, and without legal title, you cannot access finance for one purpose or the other. In going to a bank, security would be required to serve as collateral for finance to be loaned out. This security means a certificate of occupancy, which serves as a legal title, and without a legal title, banks would not yield their money.

“The solution is to improve the land titling system, giving access to easy registration. Hence, a need for state governors to take it seriously. Lagos State is at the forefront of states with an improved land titling system. You would find out that of the property in Lagos, about 94 per cent have no legal title. And if Lagos is at the forefront, you can imagine states like Nasarawa, Ogun, and Oyo, among others.”

Alonge noted that Edo State had lots of property but the issuance rate of Certificate of Occupancies could be improved.

He added, “There was something that surprised me last week when the Edo State governor came to commission our building in Abuja. He said that when he became governor, the Certificate of Occupancy that was issued since the creation of Edo State up till when he came into power, he was able to count about 2,000 certificate occupancies. However, in less than eight years of his administration, he had been able to issue over 30,000 certificates of occupancy. That is an improvement, but it is still not enough.”

Similarly, the Managing Partner of Ubosi Eleh & Co., Chudi Ubosi, said it was essential to identify the assets available.

He said, “Unfortunately, about 94 per cent of land is without title in Lagos State. That is the nature of what we are because people are afraid of getting the title as they do not trust what the government gives them. They believe that titling gives the government an opening into their lives,  by tax deductions, among others.

“In addition, many do not even bother or know the advantages of having a formal title to land, also many are afraid of the process as they always see the government as a bureaucratic monster that consumes. The government needs to do a lot more in building awareness, educating the people, and capacity building.”

More so, the Chief Executive Officer of Edge Facility Managers, Peju Fatuyi, stated that the purpose of the launch was to raise public awareness about activities within the facility management space.

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