Expert tasks property investors on ‘proper land documents’

The Chairman of Property World African Network (PWAN Group), Dr Augustine Onwumere, has advised property investors to ensure they procure requisite title documents.

Onwumere, who gave the advice at the unveiling of PWAN Land Acquisition & Title Procurement Ltd., by PWAN MAX Property and Business Solutions, a member of the PWAN Group, in Lagos, recently, said the possession of title documents issued by relevant government agencies is the only way a property owner can enjoy the full benefits of a property.

He said: “As a real estate marketing, investment, management, and development company with over ten years of robust corporate experience, we have come to realise that property investors need to be educated on the need to own government recognised titles documents. We also understand that a lot of people do not enjoy the full benefits of owning a property.”

He said many investors did not know they could avoid unnecessary disputes, enjoy zero interference from customary landowners, and use title documents as collateral to secure loans.

“A title document makes it possible for a property owner to enjoy value appreciation, facilitates easy transfer of title, ensures property security, and easy access to government compensations when necessary,” he said.

Onwumere also pointed out that a land title was a legal document that served as evidence or proof of land ownership.

“One does not fully own land until a title is registered with the government. Invest smartly, procure your land title document and secure your land,” he further advised.

Onwumere noted that the land use act of 1978 abolished the previously existing land tenure systems and replaced them with a uniform land administration system across the country.

He identified four stages of land titles under the act as follows: Excision, which he said was the process whereby the government released a portion of land that was considered free to the host community.

“Excision properly published in the government gazette is a good document to ascertain that a portion of land is not under acquisition. The next level is Gazette; an official record book that spells out details of an expanse of land excised and given back to the community,” said the expert.

According to him, the excision document is usually taken to the Surveyor General’s office for publication in the gazette.

“Certificate of Occupancy, popularly known as C of O, is an official land document given by the state or federal government, which leases land to individual owners for a period of 99 years. It is one of the most popular property documents or titles in Nigeria.

“Then there is the Governor’s Consent, where a person with C of O decides to sell land to another person; the government’s consent must be obtained before that transaction can be valid. This process continues every time the property changes hands,” said Onwmere.

He added that the entire process could take up to six months to be perfected.

“Hence, I advise interested property owners to feel free to approach PWAN Land Acquisition and & Title Procurement Ltd., for easy and seamless title procurement,” he said.

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