Despite experts arguing that the Land Use Act is hindering the growth of the country’s real estate sector, the Federal Government has stated that it would be challenging to repeal the Act.
The Federal Government’s National Housing Strategy Blueprint states that the constitution mandates a two-thirds approval from the State House of Assemblies for any amendment to be passed by the government.
Recall that experts in the built environment have been calling for the abolition of the Land Use Act, because of its inability to address the challenge of multiplicity of land tenure systems in the country.
The law has also been linked to administrative bottlenecks associated with land administration in the country.
But in the housing document, the government explained that only certain provisions that stipulate the governor’s consent, mortgage and transfer of possession can be amended.
It said, “The need to amend the Land Use Act is a concern shared by stakeholders in the housing ecosystem. There have been calls for its amendment, but that is a Herculean task given that the Constitution requires the approval of two-thirds of the State House of Assemblies in the country for any amendment to be passed.”
It, however, recommended that the Land Use Act be amended to include clauses that simplify the entire land administration process, include systematic titling and registration and reduce the reference to the Governor for every change in land ownership.
“Specifically, there is the need to amend the provisions that stipulate that the Governor’s consent is required in the assignment of title, mortgage, transfer of possession and sub-lease as this will shorten the time spent on land administration, including time limits for the necessary approvals in order to reduce the time taken for land acquisition, amend the fines therein and include clauses that enforce appropriate implementation. It is also recommended that the Land Use Act be expanded to address issues of infrastructure development.
“The idea is to be able to create administrative remedies for people, ease the processes and timeline in plot titling and subsequent transaction (consents), make compensation more responsive institutionally instead of condoning post-title siege on developments by landowners, harmonise the Land Use Act with the Community Land Tenure practices and the need to shift interest from ownership to access to housing,” the document read.