Nigeria’s land policy requires reforms as a key part of economic growth, experts in the academic field have said.
A research work by Prof. Oludayo Amokaye and Dr Akintunde Otubu of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, stated that the country’s existing land policy was not efficient and cost effective.
According to the researchers, the report is based on the fact that there is the need to search for an efficient, effective and reputable land policy and administration system that will guarantee fairness, equity and sustainable development.
The researchers noted that for land to become a source of economic prosperity to Nigerians, the key factor, which they identified as the allocation of land, must be done effectively.
They explained that land must be allocated with equal opportunity to those who wanted to use it for economic activities, adding that monetary compensation must also be given to those who were deprived of the lands.
“Land use is central to everybody, and to ensure efficient allocation of land, it must be put into productive use with equal opportunities given to people requiring land for productive purposes,” the researchers noted.
“It is also our finding that secure land management improves economic growth and investment, poverty reduction, market surplus, accountability, environmental sustainability and effective land use.”
The report noted that the major setback to effective land use in the country remained the Land Use Act and its attendant problems, adding that to effectively utilise land for economic purposes, the challenges must be addressed.
The findings of the research carried out through Femi Okunnu grant are contained in a nine-chapter book titled, ‘Land use policy and management in the 21st Century of Nigeria’.
Amokaye said as part of the recommendation, a model law fashioned along all the research findings and recommendations for policymakers to implement and look into for future reference should be created.
“The book can be subjected to contextual analysis for future use and made available to the larger society,” he said.
The researchers stated that they were commissioned to carry out a detailed research work on property law that would incite discourse which would in turn enhance and increase research for the benefit of the faculty, the university and the society at large.
They noted that if properly implemented, the research would have great impact on land management, land policy and issues relating to marketability and access to land.
“It will assist policymakers trying to address some aspects of the law that are not working efficiently and effectively, particularly in the application of the Land Use Act which will attract investment, address housing needs, sustainability and environmental protection,” the researchers said.
The Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Toyin Ogundipe, said the objective of the research was to contribute to the body of knowledge intended for and to the benefits to the society.
He stated that as a field of property law, the research would bring a lasting solution to many generations.
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