Property acquisition procedures in Nigeria exist, but many people fail to follow them and end up in the wrong hands.  

Nigeria is actually experiencing an increase in land scammers. It is estimated that more than 300,000 people in Nigeria fall victim to these scams due to the lack of information they have.

Recently, most people who claim to be landowners are not the real owners of the land they are selling to buyers. In this case, if you fall into the hands of any of these fraudsters, your money is gone.

This is why there are certain procedures for property acquisition in Nigeria.

  • It is essential that you know which documents you will need to receive before payment can be made.
  • Performing personal investigations and research on the land should not be overlooked.
  • Inspect the land and its location as well

Documents Required for Land Purchase in Nigeria

In Nigeria, each state releases documents to landowners and anyone seeking to acquire a plot of land; in addition, some cities sell joint inherited land that may become an issue in the near future.

It is for this reason that you need to carry out your own investigation. Depending on the state, the landowner might issue the Deed of Assignment instead of a C of O.

Go over the documents in detail, before making a payment. You can also check the land registration at the Ministry of Land and Survey. In order to confirm the real owner of the land or property you wish to purchase. Conducting a comprehensive search is the only method to guarantee that the land or other property being bought in a transaction has a good title.

In order to ascertain whether a piece of land has a solid root of title and to spot any title problems, it must first be verified. For Lagos State you can make research in the Land Registry while in Benin you can make research in the Edo State Lands Bureau. For more information on Document verification for lagos property you can read up here

Whenever you are forced to acquire a property quickly or under pressure. Alternately, it might be marked as a distress sale; pay particular attention to avoid falling into the wrong hands. During Property acquisition, to make sure the owner receives a legitimate property with a valid title, hiring a property lawyer to do the search and assist with the purchasing procedure is essential.

Here are the Essential Land Documents you need to know:


This is designed by a lawyer to bind the legality of transactions between two parties and prevent fraud and other issues that can arise when the title is deduced. In transferring the ownership of a property from a seller to a new buyer, a legal counsel drafts this document based on the interests of his or her client.

As an assignee, you must register the deed of assignment with the relevant land registrations in order to make the ownership of the property known to the public and to provide proof in court that the ownership has changed. It acts as a strong root of title to the property, so this document can be used to verify your ownership receipt if a third party makes an attempt to claim ownership of the same property. The deed of assignment should be registered, stamped, and approved by the governor.


The C of O is issued by the State Government of Nigeria. It is the most important evidence that you own a property.

The C of O prevents several owners from claiming a single piece of land. If you require a loan in the future, banks and other financial institutions will accept certificates of occupancy as collateral. The Document is a proof that the home or building is in habitable condition under the law.

Since no land can bear two Certificates of Occupancy, the document grants you the authority to remain in charge of the property. If you are purchasing directly from the government or a respectable real estate company in Nigeria, the C of O will be initiated and handed over to you as soon as the sale is confirmed.

Without this document, it is impossible to legally claim the property. The government can seize your land without any compensation paid.


A survey plan is a legal document that helps;

The reader to determine the size and shape of the property.

The area of permissions and the rights of ways

The measurements and distances to the boundary of the property and any other features important to the landowner

It also shows the legal boundaries of the property, which are often overlooked until a boundary dispute arises.

A survey plan must be registered at the office of the Surveyor-General before it can be acknowledged.

It is vital to know that your building plan cannot be approved until the registered survey plan is presented.


This is the payment receipt for the property purchase and proof that you paid for the property. A seller must provide this document. Whether money is paid in full or in part. This is because it proves that the interest in the property has been sold and transferred to the payer.

This receipt for land payment is a crucial part of your transaction. It is the only proof that you paid for the property. And without this proof of purchase, you cannot fully claim title to the land.


A power of attorney is a legal document that grants someone you trust the right to act in your place and make decisions or fulfill obligations if you are unable to do so.

This document, for instance, gives the person you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you become ill while managing your property and are unable to continue.


When a deceased person is the owner of the property, then this document is needed. The buyer should also extend an investigation to see if letters of administration or probate have been issued. This can help you avoid being in the middle of a family dispute.

Finally, Property acquisition in Nigeria is a very important decision that can go wrong if the right steps are not taken. This is why it is safer to buy your property from a professional and trusted real estate company.

Contact us at Buildzone Housing Solutions. Our professional Real Estate experts are ready to help you reduce your stress and the risk of working with the wrong agents during your process of property acquisition.

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