10 Real Estate Documents To Know When Buying Your First Property In Nigeria

June 26, 2024by MeritAbode0

Buying your first property is a big deal, but it can also be an intimidating experience if you are not familiar with real estate slang. The country’s real estate market has peculiar terms and processes that could make it a bit challenging for one to know how to navigate their land purchase. Therefore, these are 10 must-know real estate terminologies when buying your first property in Nigeria.


1. Certification Of Occupancy

Certification of Occupancy is the most important document in the Nigerian Real Estate. It is a legal paper given by the government showing that an individual is permitted to live on or use the land for a given number of years, usually 90 years. This document is necessary because it serves as evidence of ownership and helps to avoid conflicts.


2. Deed of Assignment

The Deed of Assignment is a legal document that is used to transfer the ownership rights from one person to another concerning any kind of property. The seller uses this document to assign their interests in favor of you when buying any land or house from them. It must be filled at the appropriate Land Registry so that it can be binding under law.


3. Governor’s Consent

In Nigeria, every transfer of land that has a Certificate of Occupancy requires the approval of the Governor’s Consent. This requirement arises from the provisions in Lagos State Land Use Act 1978 which vests all lands within each state under the power or authority of a Governor. Note that through obtaining this consent, a legal validation of such a transaction is done and hence makes binding.


4. Map of Survey

A survey plan is a comprehensive map showing boundaries and sizes of land. Among other things indicated in it include position, size and dimensions of land. The essence of having a survey plan is to ensure you have proof that you are buying exactly what you intended to buy without any encumbrances whatsoever.


5. Excision

Excision occurs when the government releases part of its territories to the local occupants or community. These lands are considered free from government acquisition because they can now be sold legitimately or transferred accordingly. Therefore, one must ascertain that proper excision was done before acquiring any land.


6. Gazette

This gazette contains recorded excised lands by the government. In gazette, if your property appears there then it means it has been recognized by the government as free from acquisition. Verification process begins by looking at the gazette.


7. Surveyor General’s Office (SGO)

The Surveyor General’s Office is the government department responsible for surveying and mapping land in Nigeria. The SGO provides survey plans and other important materials. It should be noted that during land purchase, one has to verify the survey plans and other related documents from SGO so as to be sure of their authenticity.


8. Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows an agent to act on behalf of another person in legal or financial matters. In real estate deals, it often comes into play when the owner is not around physically. It is crucial to authenticate any Power of Attorney before going ahead with its use.


9. Land Use Act

The Land Use Act was an important piece of legislation in 1978 that regulates the Nigerian land tenure system. It places all lands in each state under the control of the governor who then holds them as trustee for all Nigerians. Thus, understanding the functioning procedures specified by this Act is vital including its implications on methods through which lands can be acquired, transferred or used.


10. Deed of Sublease

A Deed of Sublease is a legal document used when a leaseholder grants secondary leases to another party. This document lists the terms and conditioners under which the sublease is granted. This document is important in situations where the original leaseholder wants to lease out a part of the property to another tenant.



Buying your first property in Nigeria is a significant step, and understanding these terms will guide you in making the right decisions. You can easily navigate the real estate market, and also be able to buy or invest wisely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Copyrights © Merit Abode Nigeria Limited, 2024.


Meritabode is a real estate company that specializes in sites and services-sales of plots of land, construction of affordable housing estate development in Nigeria.

Designed by Evaluate Media

Platinum Bundle

Ileya Flexivaganza Promo

Bronze Bundle

Silver Bundle

Gold Bundle

Diamond Bundle

Children Day Celebration Promo