1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Land Reform generally involves the
changing of laws, regulations or customs regarding land ownership. It may
consist of government initiated or government backed approach to property
redistribution of land as in the case of Nigeria, an outright transfer of
ownership of land from the citizens to the state. The common characteristic of
land reforms is usually the modification or the replacement of existing institutional
arrangements governing possession, use and title. Thus, while land reform may
be radical in nature such as large scale confiscation and transfers of land
from one group to another or from one group to the state, it can also be less drastic
and conciliatory in nature such as less painful transfers of land to the state
and regulatory reforms aimed at improving land administration (Dale, 2007).
Land is perhaps the single most
important natural resource in the sense that it affects every aspect of a
people’s live; their food, clothing, and shelter. It is the base for producing
raw material for the manufacturing industry. It is an important resource. No
nation-city or rural area can survive as an entity without it. Thus, every
person in a nation – the banker, the industrialist, the labourer, the educator,
the student, the planner, the farmer- has a vital stake in the country’s land
problems and its proper utilization (Acquaye, 1976).
Land Reform committee in Nigeria is aimed towards enabling the states to be
effective managers of land. It is aimed to provide a systematic cadastral
survey of land in the entire federation (a political entity called Nigeria).
The Term of Reference makes it an essential body to assist both states and
local government to carry out the cadastre survey and codify the possessory
rights of vast majority of the people access to land and landowners. The Term
of Reference necessitate the body to collaborate and provide technical
assistance to state and local government in undertaking cadastral survey and to
ensure the demarcation of land boundaries and title holdings are demarcated in
such a way that communities, hamlets, villages, towns etc are recognized. It
was also saddled with the responsibility of encouraging and assisting states
and local government to establish adjudication mechanism for land ownership
conflict resolution and to make recommendation for mechanism for valuation in
both rural and urban areas.
Security of tenure and land rights of citizens
is an important foundation for economic development. For many of these, land
titles are the main sources of collateralization for obtaining credit from
informal and established financial institutions. Consequently, securing land
rights and land titles is particularly relevant for all socio?economic classes in the nation’s economy but especially to
the farmers whose pervasive poverty to date derives from not having definitive property
rights appropriate to a market economy. Furthermore, fees and taxes on such
landed properties are very important sources of revenue for governments
particularly at the State and Local Government levels. A national programme
that thus sets out to enhance and secure the property rights of all groups in
the society can only end up creating a economic empowerment.
Funding Land Reform programme should
therefore be a national effort to be borne by all three tiers of government in
proportion to their capabilities (Mabogunje, 2007).
For a country striving to be one of the
twenty largest economies in the world by the year 2020, the situation with
respect to land rights and transactions in land still leaves very much to be desired.
The World Band publication on “Doing Business in Nigeria 2010” rated Nigeria
178th out of 183 economies in respect of difficulties of registering
properties in the country.
Mabogunje (2007) attributed this to the
following reason “a large share of land in the country is not formally
registered [whilst] informal titles cannot be used as security in obtaining
loans which limits financing opportunities for businesses” especially small and
medium?size enterprises. If Nigeria is to meet
the challenges of competing effectively in an increasingly globalizing world,
it is thus imperative that it gives very urgent and sustained attention to promoting
its land reform program in all of its ramifications to facilitate property
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Titling and Registration is essential for economic development of a Nation. The
Nigerian nation had had a multiplicity of land tenure system until the 1978
Land Use Act which harmonized all the systems.
land use pattern in Nigeria estimated arable land to be about 33% of the total
land area, permanent pastures cover 44%, permanent crops cover 3%, forest and
woodlands 12%, and others 8%. Thus land is still the main asset of the rural
Nigerians where over 80% are peasant farmers; however this asset has not been
fully utilized for economic empowerment because they do not have proper records
and titles that can be used as collateral to raise capital. It is in an attempt
to economically empower the vast majority of Nigerians, who are rural dwellers,
by turning their land holdings to economic capital, that the current Federal Government
of Nigeria initiated the Land Reform Agenda. However, the researcher is
providing an overview of land reforms in Nigeria considering the issues and
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
following are the objectives of this study:
provide an overview on the issues of land reforms in Nigeria.
examine the problems of land reforms in Nigeria.
analyze the solution to the problems of land reform in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
are the issues of land reforms in Nigeria?
are the problems of land reforms in Nigeria?
are the solutions to the problems of land reform in Nigeria?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
following are the significance of this study:
of this study will educate the general public and students on the issues, problems
and solutions of land reforms in Nigeria with a view of identifying the
research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers
interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if
applied, it will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
study on land reforms in Nigeria will cover all the issues and problems of land
reform in Nigeria. It will cover the activities of the regulatory framework and
the accessibility of land to Nigerians for use.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the
efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature
or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire
Time constraint- The researcher will
simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently
will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to
Land: the part
of the earth's surface that is not covered by water.
Mabogunje, A.L. (2007). Development as
Societal Transformation and Empowerment. Lecture Delivered at the Retreat of
the People’s Democratic Party, Abuja, January 8.
Dale, Peter. 2007. “Good Land
Administration – It’s Role in the Economic Development” Keynote Speech on Land
Administration in Transition International Workshop, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
June 27 -29.
Solomon, A.O. (1991): Title to land in
Nigeria; An inaugural Lecture delivered at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife,
On June 1991.
Osei-Bonsu. S.N. (1983): Alternative
Approaches and strategies to Rural Development Studies Vol. 3 Nos. 1 page