Do you know what a Certificate of Occupancy is? Why is it perceived as an important document of land ownership? A Certificate of Occupancy, also known as C of O, is a document issued by the government in Nigeria to landowners as a legal proof of ownership. The C of O spells out what the land can be used for either residential or commercial purpose. The government is constitutionally mandated to issue the Certificate of Occupancy because all lands in the state are vested in the Governor of the State. This is clearly dictated by the Land Use Act 1978.
The individual that you are buying the land from determines how you will get your Certificate of Occupancy. If you are buying from omo onile it is advisable to ensure that the land or property you are about to buy has not been acquired by the government. If you are buying the land from the government, the process of obtaining your C of O in Nigeria would be initiated as soon as the sale is confirmed. To get a Certificate of Occupancy, you need the following:
A formal Letter addressed to the Executive Secretary
A Standard Allocation Form with receipt
Four passport photographs with white background
Evidence of Income Tax payment
Current development levy
A survey plan
All payment receipts of Land Charges
Vital Information Form
In 2015, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode approved the release of Electronic Certificates of Occupancy and it has since been officially adopted. To collect your C of O, you have to check if your name is listed in the schedule in various publications. If your name is published then you can visit the Lands Bureau at the Alausa Secretariat in Ikeja for the collection of your Certificates of Occupancy. The electronic Certificate of Ownership shows all transactions that have taken place on the land.