Land and landed properties are one of the most valuable assets to possess. They are among the few assets with the probability to increase significantly in value with little time. The fact that Land appreciates faster in the cities is the main reason we have a steady increase in the number of landowners registering their land in Abuja.
Abuja being the capital of Nigeria is a very strategic place to acquire landed property. The
opportunities associated with it can’t be overestimated as properties appreciate quickly in this part of Nigeria. This fact alone is evident in the number of new buildings springing up in areas that were hitherto labelled as Abuja suburb.
Evidently, lots of Nigerians are aware that owning a property in Abuja is one of the most certain ways to increase wealth. As a result, Abuja witnessed a surge in the purchase of lands both in the city and suburbs.
The uncontrollable surge in the acquisition of land especially in its suburb birthed some social issues like: double allocation, Court cases involving land, No supporting infrastructures in place, compensation issues, Revocation by the government. These and many other reasons led to the indefinite suspension of land allocation in the city of Abuja.
Each of the reasons will be highlighted sequentially in the following sections;
Double allocations: While it is a standard practice for any land acquisition and development
firms ensure that the first person who makes payment get the proper document acknowledging the change of ownership, greedy land agents with the help of their associate took advantage of buyer’s naivety to sell the same land to multiple people. This, in turn, leads to disagreement among multiple owners and unavoidable court cases.
Court cases: The aforementioned and many other reasons are why we have so many land-related cases in Abuja court. This problem is compounded by the bureaucratic delays common to Nigerian courts. In order to accelerate the speed at which court cases are solved, the present minister of FCT, Abuja established the Land Use Allocation Committee (LAUAC). The bulkiness of the cases also overwhelmed this new body.
Compensation issues: The exploding number of court cases involving land issues undoubtedly resulted in compensation and outside the court settlement for some parties. Yet, some were adamant to abide by the terms.
Revocations carried by past governments: While this is a general practice in most parts of
the country, the government also failed to hold up to its end of the bargain in most situations involving compensation of the parties whose ancestral land were taken for state development or any other purpose.
No supporting infrastructures in place: As stated earlier, land acquisition was higher in the
suburbs. Lots of people were acquiring land in places where basic infrastructures have not been provided for by the state. Majority of those places have no accessible roads, provision for electricity and sewer lines. To curb haphazard growth veering from the city’s footprint they had to stop allocation of land.