Chairman of the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform (PTCLR), Prof. Peter Adeniyi, has said that the proposed Systematic Land Titling and Registration (SLTR) would sanitise land administration in Nigeria.
Adeniyi made the assertion, on Wednesday, in Abuja, in an interview on the sideline of the ongoing National Stakeholders Dialogue on Land Reform in Nigeria.
The chairman described the Systematic Land Titling and Registration initiative as part of the land reform programme of the Federal Government to institutionalise land administration and make it effective and efficient.
Adeniyi said that the committee had designed the system to be able to capture every piece of land in Nigeria.
“Only about three per cent of Nigerian land is documented with title and registration and as such 97 per cent has no document.
“So, it is very difficult to plan very well to move the land in a manner that will make it more productive because we need to have the information as to who owns the land and what it is being used for.
Listing some benefits of the systematic land titling and registration, the chairman said that it would enable land owners to participate in the social economic activities in the country.
“Someone with a well titled land can easily get a loan from the bank to develop the land or to even buy shares.
“Without such titling you cannot go for any mortgage; farmers in particular are at disadvantage completely because they don’t have the resources and they can only get the resources required by using their land.
“But if they have title, that will enable them to take loan from the bank and expand their productions,’’ he said.
Adeniyi further said that local and foreign investors also found it very difficult to get land without title or registration.
According to him, one may buy such land then someone will come out to challenge the buyer as the owner too and the case may be in the court for 10 years and the land will be there without any activities.
“That is why a land without title is regarded globally as a dead resource.
Speaking on the reason of low level of land registration in the country, he noted that the existing law did not make registration compulsory.
He added that the cost of registration was also very expensive, while the time required for the land to be registered was too long making it not accessible.
Adeniyi said that global ranking by the World Bank presently put Nigeria as number 178 out of 188 countries where it was difficult to register property.
According to him, the cost is also about 20 per cent of the actual value of the land.
“Again the registration is so centralised in the state capitals, so those people at the extreme end or the rural areas find it very difficult to do it.
“Few of them who try to do it will have to go through an Estate Surveyor or lawyers who will then again increase the cost of registering the land.
He said that the SLTR when implemented would tackle the cumbersome way of registration using technology based area photographs and satellite including GPRS.
“The people’s presence is involved, they only pay once, they don’t have to be going about paying so many people.
“Once the process is completed, the certificate will be printed and the cost will be low,’’ Adeniyi said.
He regretted that there were some situations whereby some governors did not sign one single certificate for one year even during their tenure.
“What is important is to convince them of the importance of this system.
“We have got machines that can sign 500 certificates in an hour, so there should not be a problem; it is just for them to accept that it should be done for their people.
The dialogue, organised by the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform, has the theme “Land Reform: Creating Strategic Pathway to National Economic Development and Wealth Creation”. (NAN)