The Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is a legal document received from the government after purchasing land and proves the bona fideness of an individual or family as the rightful owner of the land.
The land has been an integral part of nature since the beginning of time. Even in the dissertation and the definition of the geographical space and the limit, it plays a key role. Before the advent of colonialism and subsequent eras, land has always been one of the scales for measuring an individual’s wealth.
Its productive and appreciative nature is one of the drivers that has placed it in the position of the nation’s largest income generator as a linchpin in the development of the modern city. As a result, individuals, families and communities can acquire land in one way or another.
In the course of their acquisition, certain documents are sacrosanct to prove validity and the same applies afterwards. These documents include; topographic plan, deed of assignment/transmission or deed of donation, purchase receipt, as well as certificate of occupancy.
The certificate of occupancy (C of O) is a legal document received from the government after purchasing land. It accredits the authenticity of a person or family as the legitimate owner of the land. It is like the certificate received after school and graduation as proof of being in the process and completing it.
The most prevalent and recurring real estate development crisis is multi-person land sales, which is very prevalent and terrible in rural areas and some parts of the urban environment alongside Government Reserved Areas (GRAs). A certificate of occupancy acts as an indicator of the legal and original owner of the land; A streamlined understated document that holds water while simultaneously reducing cost and erasing the stress of going back and forth in a court of law.
According to the Land Use Act (1978), all land in Nigeria is held by the governor of each state and they are responsible for allocating these lands to the people to reduce unequal access to use and acquisition of land. land. In this case, the government of any state can use land for industrial and infrastructure purposes. The current government, from the federal to the state level, is trying to turn the country into a modern world city by acquiring more land to create access roads and standard infrastructure.
With the power vested in the governor, he can reclaim and use any land for state purposes. To avoid being a victim, a C of O must be obtained. The reasons for the acquisition are to obtain compensation if the government decides to own land from anyone because the C of O can prove an individual’s right to land to even though it is owned by the government as stated in the land use law.
In an intellectual discussion with Adekanmi David, a contract surveyor and professor at the University of Benin, when asked why landowners might refuse to acquire C of O, he mentioned the stress involved and the problem of bureaucracy as an impeding factor. The money paid is not really the problem. People need to move from one place to another and go through so many processes, possibly putting them off and putting them off.
He added that the negligent and uncaring attitudes of some public servants who are responsible for approving and signing applicants’ required documents could also delay the process and discourage them.
He pointed out that in order to solve the indifferent attitude of people in the acquisition of C of O, the problem of bureaucracy must be investigated and remedied.
He advised that to speed up the C of O or avoid any problems that may arise in buying land, people should get land directly from the government.
Red tape can drive interested applicants away from C of O and is a common phenomenon in most public office. Albert Einstein called bureaucracy the death of any achievement. It slows down decision making, impedes progress, and also wastes time, effort, and money. If a person has to visit multiple offices just to sign a part of a document, that person will definitely become apathetic and might stop the process midway.
In addition to the bureaucracy, another issue that must be corrected is that the public servants who are in charge of approving the necessary documents must maintain a friendly disposition with the applicants to encourage greater clientelism.
People should also obtain a C of O immediately after purchasing land from another person, family, or community because the delay may result in an accrual of fees, such as development tax, land use charge, etc. Buildup will definitely inhibit the process. to obtain the document, thus reducing the chances of obtaining it.
As Ronald Chagoury Jr describes it, real estate is a sector of the Nigerian economy that has a very bright future. Land is an indispensable and fundamental aspect of real estate. With its rapid growth, landowners who own lots and hectares of land must strive to acquire a certificate of habitability to secure their land, a gold mine in the earth’s treasury.