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Land Tenure System in Nigeria

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How do you go about owning a land in Nigeria? In Nigeria, there are various land tenure systems that vary from the villages, towns or cities. The idea behind land tenure system in Nigeria is to regulate land ownership behavior in the country. There are various forms of land tenure systems in Nigeria ranging from Communal Ownership, Inheritance Tenure System, Leasehold Tenure System, Rent Tenure System, Gift Tenure System, Freehold Tenure System and Tenant at Government will.

We will talk about the following:

  • Communal land tenure system
  • Inheritance tenure system
  • Leasehold tenure system
  • Gift tenure system
  • Rent tenure system
  • Freehold tenure system
  • Tenants at government will

Communal Land Tenure System

Communal land tenure system promotes the community as the governing power of the landThe head of the community decides the basis for land sharing or ownership.  This system encourages large scale farming but cannot be used as collateral for a loan.

Inheritance Tenure System

In inheritance tenure system, land ownership is transferred at the death of the main owner to the next of kin. This system provides for children yet unborn but sometimes land allocation may lead to conflicts among beneficiaries and other family members.

Leasehold Tenure System

Leasehold tenure system is an ownership of a temporary right to hold land in which a tenant holds rights to the land by some form of title from a landlord. This system allows for permanent crop cultivation depending on the lease period but it cannot serve as security for loans.

Gift Tenure System

Gift tenure system of land ownership in which rights to a piece of land is voluntarily given out by the owner to another person.  It can be used to source for a loan from financial institutions by the new owner although the land ownership can be revoked by a court order.

Rent Tenure System

In rent tenure system a tenant pays some amount for the period of using the land to a stated landlord. The period of rent is relatively very short compared to leasehold systems. Although this system discourages long-term plan on the part of the tenant.

Freehold Tenure System

In freehold tenure system, a person pays a certain sum of money for the right of ownership of a piece of land. Under this system, land can be used as collateral for the loan but the purchase of these lands under this system is expensive.

Tenants at Government Will

Tenants at government will system is whereby land is given out to farmers by the Federal Government of Nigeria. The land is cheap to acquire although the land cannot be used as collateral for the loan.

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