The issue of getting a property can sometimes be very daunting if you have to think about the stress and many processes involved. First, you have to be sure what you’re buying is genuine and will not be sold to anyone else after your payment except by you.
Then you have to obtain proper title if none existed before or perfect the title it already has in your own favour.
The Land Use Act of 1978 puts all land in a State; town and rural area under the control of the Governor and Local Government Chairman respectively in trust for the people of the state.
Consequent upon this, section 22 of the Act then states that, “it shall not be lawful for the holder of a statutory Right of Occupancy granted by the Governor to alienate his Right of Occupancy or any part thereof by assignment, sublease etc without the prior consent of the Governor”
Simply put, even though a property has Certificate of Occupancy which makes the beneficiary the legal interest holder on the land for 99 years or the residue, if he decides to resell, mortgage or do anything with the property.
Since the land is held in trust by the state government, the Governor needs to approve to that transaction. Otherwise, the title that will pass is not perfected. This means that the final authority on landed matters is not aware of the transaction and the implications can be grievous at times especially if one of the parties to the transaction decides to be “funny”.
There are two broad Governor’s approval types. One is the approval to transfer part or all of your interest in the landed property to a third party and the other is the consent to mortgage. The latter is usually required when you are pledging your property as security for a credit facility.
The bottlenecks created by this process in itself is a serious clog in the wheel of property transactions and it is standing as one of the major reasons why the built industry is pressing for the Land Use Act to be removed from the constitution of the country.
Especially since the review while still part of the constitution has proven to be an almost impossible task. It is believed that once removed from the constitution, review can be a lot easier.
This is long overdue in the light of what has come to be the transactional bad experiences dovetailing into continuously increasing acute shortfall on the housing supply side.
Below is a step by step process with the essential documents needed to obtain the Governor’s Consent in Lagos state. However, it is worthy to note that if the property has a defective title, the approval process does not take care of it. In fact, with the stringent regularisation of titles going on, it is sure to put a loophole in the process.
o A duly completed application made on Land Form 1C which must be dated and signed by the parties to the transaction and sworn to before a Magistrate or Notary Public
o A cover letter from the Solicitor/Applicant filing the application for Governor’s consent
o A certified original copy of the Title document of the property
o The sum of =N= 10, 500 for charting fee, endorsement fee and Form 1C made payable to the Lagos State Government
o Four copies of the Deed of Assignment with survey plans attached in each copy
o Photograph of the property
o Current tax clearance certificate of the parties involved in the property transaction. Please note that if you do not have, an assessment is raised immediately for you
All these documents are forwarded to the office of the Surveyor General for charting. If there are no defects in the survey plan, a clean report is sent to the Lands Bureau and a demand notice is issued to the applicant for the following fees which are percentages of the assessed value of the property. These fees are paid via bank draft in the name of Lagos State Government and receipts are issued
§ Consent fees – 8%
§ Capital gains tax – 2%
§ Stamp duty fee – 2%
§ Registration fee – 3%
Present experience is that the process of getting approval takes at least three months to conclude if assessment fees are paid as quickly as possible and there are no queries in your file although the State Government has a target period of 30days.
The 30days Approval project was launched in the early part of the ACN government in Lagos but I called it target simply because the experience has not matched up.
So, there, you have it! Now you know how to obtain a Governor’s approval! If you are however still confused or would rather have someone take care of things for you, that’s why we’re here. Your comfort is our business!