The lasting impact of land use act of 1978 was not just the vesting of power in the government but the recognition of both the government and customary owners that held it in trust for the Nigerian people. The aftermath of this was the emergence of the popular omo-onile and the attendant effect on property acquisition, cost and documentation.
Today, an average Nigerian goes through needless pain and agony to acquire a parcel of land and at every developmental phase pay huge sum of money to the so called omo-oniles. Land acquisition is basically in two phase, first from the customary owners and secondly ratification of papers with the government since the formal cannot single handily grant certificate of occupancy.
Foundation fee as its fondly call; After payment has been made and title has change hands yet one is required to pay a whopping sum before sub-structures could be made (foundation). Often times, this gangsters just show-up from nowhere when materials must have been mixed and work is already in progress. The grievous implication of this is raising building cost and unnecessary delay in project development since the builder would have to prepare for this so called omo-onile. Many Nigerians have lost their lives to fight that often erupt on site. Roofing fees: One would have thought that the payment is once and for all but amazingly they‘ve got what they call roofing and decking fees as the case may be.
Also characterizing Nigerian property acquisition and development procedures is cost duplication. This owning to the fact that apart from the acquisition cost from the customary owners, a good sum is paid to the government for ratification and documentation. Amazingly, the total sum paid for documentation and ratification is equivalent to government value on such properties. This could therefore be said to mean paying for the same properties twice thereby depriving Nigerians of fund that could have been put into development.
Another problem associated with documentation is delay in approval and granting of C of O which often truncate the pace of development. Complementing this is policy somersault as witnessed in the case of Abuja where government embarked on revalidation exercise. C of O’s were withdrawn, securing mortgage facilities became difficult and granted ones became serious issues as bankers began to renege.