It is a big deal to get a certificate of Occupancy in Nigeria, a very big deal. In fact, most inexperienced land owners do not know of other property titles you can get in Nigeria than the C of O.
To know the process of getting the C of O in Nigeria – select states – please click here.
First of all, this is the ultimate title you can get in Nigeria. It is called other names in other countries, in case you are more familiar with other environments. Since a 1978 decree, all land in Nigeria belong to the Government. The C of O is the Government saying, ‘we have given you the rights to occupy, develop, merchandise this piece of our land for a given time. This is usually 99 years.
But before you get the C of O, you would have gotten an Irrevocable Power of Attorney, surveyed and registered, acquired a document called Certificate of Deposit ( C of D), Tax clearance and other items. The C of O is endorsed by the Governor of the State before it is transmitted to you the applicant.
So, why go through this trouble to get a C of O?
Here are 5 quick reasons and benefits:
The Government recognizes that you own the property
If any 3rd party goes to enquire about the property or about you the owner (legally, occupant), the records at the Government will end all argument.
Protection from Future Government Action
In case there is a plan by the Government, whether Federal or State, to develop the area where your property is, your land cannot be taken from you without adequate compensation. The Government gave it to you and will compensate you where there is a change.
Investors Take you seriously
If you have business partners, especially financial ones, your C of O is a major asset you can present to enhance your credibility. It is understood in corporate circles that if you have the C of O, you are worth financial attention.
Foreign Missions Count the Certificate of Occupancy as Credible
Embassies and foreign missions operating in Nigeria have a number of criteria for issuing you a visa to their countries. Usually, they want to be sure you are not escaping justice, or escaping your country for non-believable reasons. They want to know if you have decent ties to your home country before they can allow you visit their countries. One of the ways they know this is by looking at what assets you have in your country. You can show them your Power of Attorney, Deed of Assignment, Deed of Conveyance, Survey papers and all that – but your C of O commands the highest respect.
Loans and Grants
If you are seeking a credit facility, your C of O is required almost in all credit institutions in Nigeria. Especially where you are taking the loan for a purpose related to the land, you need to have had a C of O. Even some agencies that issue grants want to be sure that you own a property before considering your application for a grant.
How do you apply for a Certificate of Occupancy in Nigeria? Please read this up here.