Land Tenure System In Nigeria
The aim of this study is to examine Land Tenure system in Nigeria using Owerri Municipal council in Imo State as case study. Survey research design was employed for the study with the aid of convenience sampling method, 36 staff of the ministry of Agriculture in Owerri Municipal was selected as the participant for the study. Well structure questionnaire was issued to the enrolled participant of which 30 were retrieved and validated for the study. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square Statistical Tool(SPSS v.2.3). Findings from the study revealed that although the Land Use act mean good in correcting the flaws of colonial decrees, the act has not done so much hence this might limit economic development and impede the goal of ‘Land for all”. The study therefore recommends that there is urgent need for the amendment of the nation’s Land Use Act to eliminate all legal ambiguities currently associated with private land ownership in the country and to facilitate access to land with ease for various purposes.
Table of Content
- TITLE PAGE
- Table of Content
- List of Tables
- 1.1 Background of the study
- 1.2 Statement of the problem
- 1.3 Objective of the study
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Significance of the study
- 1.6 Scope of the study
- 1.7 Limitation of the study
- 1.8 Definition of terms
Review of Literature
- 2.1 Conceptual Framework
- 2.2 Theoretical Framework
- 3.1 Introduction
- 3.2 Research Design
- 3.3 Population of the study
- 3.4 Sample size determination
- 3.5 Sample size selection technique and procedure
- 3.6 Research Instrument and Administration
- 3.7 Method of data collection
- 3.8 Method of data analysis
- 3.9 Validity of the study
- 3.10 Reliability of the study
- 3.11 Ethical consideration
Data Presentation and Analysis
- 4.1 Data Presentation
- 4.2 Descriptive Analysis
- 4.3 Inferential Statistics
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendation
1.1 Background of the Study
The land system of a given society is the manner in which land is owned and possessed. It is an institutional framework within which decisions are taken about the use of land, embodying that legal or customary arrangement whereby individuals or groups or organizations gain access to economic and social opportunities through land (Udo, 2003). The land system is also constituted by the rules and procedures which govern the right and responsibilities of both individuals and groups in the acquisition, use and control of land. Denman (1978) argued that all societies of whatever culture and political creed have land systems woven of property rights. These property rights lend form to the proprietary land units. The proprietary land unit is the decision-making unit which is fundamental to all positive decisions about land use and comprises two elements, the run of property rights and the area of physical land to which they pertain (Denman and Prodano, 1972). Any land system may portray categories of estates or rights in land. These rights are absolute or non-derivative interests and derivative interests. The absolute interests are those rights in land that confer upon their holders unconditional interests in perpetuity and in terms of quality, it is regarded as the most superior form of ownership. The absolute interests confer absolute ownership rights and as such allow for the highest scope of proprietary decisions as to the use and management of land. The derivative interests on the other hand are interests that have been derived or carved out from the larger estates or superior estates (Udo, 2003).They are inferior in quality and include leaseholds, life interests, kola tenancy, mortgage, borrowed interests, pledges, among others (Nwabueze,1972).It is important to note that, the land ownership structure in Nigeria is based on the absolute and derivative interests. The structure of ownership of these interests in Nigeria has evolved through three major periods. These are the pre-colonial, colonial and post – colonial periods. This paper therefore examined the various dynamics of land tenure system in pre – colonial and post – colonial Nigeria. It further looked at how land ownership has been an albatross to social, political and economic development of Nigeria with regards to the Land Use Decree 6 of 1978 as Amended.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Having access to land in Nigeria has remained a source of concern to many. Land is central to development and the exploitation of other natural resources. That is why nations over the world have each developed its land tenure system so as to deal with the challenges that may arise from the exploration of land as a basic natural resource. The challenges of land tenure system have contributor to food insecurity and restricted access to essential social development. Customarily, land tenure is frequently considered to be an impediment to agricultural development.
The near absence of a secured and clearly defined right usually leads to a disincentive or the lack of ability to invest in agriculture, while the non-malleability of traditional systems is said to prevent the transfer of title rights between groups and individuals, thus inhibiting the free flow of factors of production. Hence it is upon this dynamism that this study seeks to examine Land Tenure system in Nigeria.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The broad focus of this study is to examine Land Tenure system in Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought thus:
- To examine if land tenure system encourage resource development
- To investigate if 1978 Land Use Act brought reliefs to land development in Nigeria
- To ascertain if the current land tenure practices entails inflexibility or inequity.
- To determine the extent of which land Use Act and distribution had inhibited the full economic use of land.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
HO: The current land tenure practices does not entails inflexibility or inequity.
HO: The extent to which Land Use and distribution have inhibited the full economic use of land is Low
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study will be relevant to government, stakeholders and policy developers. It will enlighten them on the need to make dire changes on the Land Use Act in order to encourage Land for all. The study also will add to the existing body of literature and serve a reference material for scholar and student who wishes to conduct a similar research on this subject. Finally the study will give room for further research in on land use issues while serving as an empirical study for the research.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of the study is however bordered on Land Tenure System in Nigeria. The study is however delimited to Ministry of Agriculture in Owerri Municipal of Imo State.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
This research project, like all human endeavors, had some challenges that threatened to derail the study’s completion. One of the reasons is that the time allotted for this work was so limited that the researcher did not have enough time to complete the task thoroughly. During data collection, the researcher also had to put forth extra effort to understand the respondents’ interview schedules, several of whom fell within the incomprehensible age group. Also there were financial and transportation constraints to deal with. 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 and interview)
1.8 Definition of Terms
Land tenure is the legal regime in which land is owned by an individual, who is said to “hold” the land. It determines who can use land, for how long and under what conditions. Tenure may be based both on official laws and policies, and on informal customs.
Land Use Act:
This Law vests all land compromised in the territory of each state solely in the Governor of the State who holds the land in trust for the people. The Land Use Act is a product of the inherent contradictions of the colonial and neo-colonial dependent, pseudo-capitalist economic structures established in Nigeria since colonial times. By the 1970s these contradictions became so serious that they threatened to become a clog on the growth of the capitalist economy.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
The aim of this study is to examine Land Tenure system in Nigeria using Owerri Municipal council in Imo State as case study. Specifically, the study examined if land tenure system encourage resource development. It investigated if 1978 Land Use Act brought reliefs to land development in Nigeria. It ascertained if the current land tenure practices entails inflexibility or inequity. It determined the extent of which land Use Act and distribution had inhibited the full economic use of land.
Survey research design was employed for the study with the aid of convenience sampling method, 36 staff of the ministry of Agriculture in Owerri Municipal was selected as the participant for the study. Well structure questionnaire was issued to the enrolled participant of which 30 were retrieved and validated for the study.
Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square Statistical Tool(SPSS v.2.3). Findings from the study revealed that although the Land Use act mean good in correcting the flaws of colonial decrees, the act has not done so much hence this might limit economic development and impede the goal of ‘Land for all”.
The land ownership system in pre-colonial Nigeria was communal. Land was deemed not owned by individuals but by communities and families in trust for all the family members. The legal estate under customary land tenancy is vested in the family or community as a unit. Because land ownership in pre-colonial Nigeria was communal, the colonial authorities initiated laws and regulations governing land ownership, land use and development among others to enable them acquire and convey titles to land for the purposes of commerce and governance. However, while these laws were enacted to make lands available for use by the colonial government, they were implemented to eliminate the pre-colonial land tenural system in the country and facilitate private ownership of land, particularly in Southern Nigeria. Thus with the advent of colonial rule, commerce and commercialization, it had become possible for individuals to own private land and deal with such land liberally and subsequently, land began to be sold, leased or mortgaged to individuals or groups. The Land Use Act of 1978 was enacted to redirect the general philosophies of pre-existing land tenure systems in Nigeria through the application of a uniform statutory regulation of ownership and control of land rights and to stimulate easier access to land for greater economic development as well as promote national and social cohesion. In an attempt to harmonize the different land tenure systems previously existing in the country, the Act has created multiple forms of tenure resulting in insecurity of right of occupancy granted under the Act, excessive bureaucracy in obtaining Governor’s consent and approval for land transactions and certificate of occupancy, among other shortcomings. The multiple forms of tenure created by the Act have also generated confusion concerning legal estates which can be owned in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
From the findings of the study, it is therefore recommended that there is urgent need for the amendment of the nation’s Land Use Act to eliminate all legal ambiguities currently associated with private land ownership in the country and to facilitate access to land with ease for various purposes. Such amendment should ensure that Nigerians can own freehold interest in land in the country and can transact with their land without the consent of the Governor. It should also strengthen the government to effectively exercise the power of eminent domain in the acquisition of land in any part of the country for public overriding purposes
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