Problem Of Compulsory Acquisition And Compensation Under The Land Use Act Of 1978 (A Case Study Of Akure Airport)

Project and Seminar Material for Estate Management

Problem Of Compulsory Acquisition And Compensation Under The Land Use Act Of 1978 (A Case Study Of Akure Airport)


The word land means different things to different people and in different context. These different meanings notwithstanding, land, since prehistoric time, has been of elemental significance to the affairs of man.

In this thesis the various interests compulsory acquired were looked into. The compensation paid for these interests were adequately examined to determine the adequacy of the compensation. In the payment of compensation, time factor was also considered to determine the effect of inflation on the amount payable, using interest rate as the parameter of measurement..

This study examined the evolution and formation of acquisition laws in Nigeria with a detailed examination of the public lands acquisition Act Cap – 167 and the Land Use Act of 1978 as its objective. Another objection of this study is to see whether the acquisition and compensation of Akure Airport actually conformed with the provision of the law.

The necessary data required for this study were collected through interview, relevant documents and records were examined in the ministry of lands and Housing Akure.

Finally, it was discovered that serving acquisition notice through the family head is adequately efficient and cost effective as against the4 provision of the Land Use Act. There was delay in payment of compensation. Also, no interest was paid for the delay in payment of compensation as provided for by the law.

Table of Contents

  • Title page
  • Certification page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Statement of Problem
  • 1.2 Aim and Objective
  • 1.3 Significance of Study
  • 1.4 Research Methodology
  • 1.5 Limitation and Scope of Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Origin of Compulsory Acquisition
  • 2.2 The Public Lands Acquisition Act (Cap. 167), 1958
  • 2.3 Compensation Under the Act
  • 2.4 Basis for Compensation
  • 2.5 Items for Compensation
  • 2.6 The Land Tenure Law of Northern Nigeria 1963
  • 2.7 The Land Use Act of 1978 (Decree No 6)
  • 2.8 The Need for Compulsory Acquisition
  • 2.9 Consequences of Compulsory Acquisition

Chapter Three

3.0 Case Study Area

  • 3.1 History and Description of the Area
  • 3.2 Ownership and Pattern of Land Use in the Area
  • 3.3 The Airport Site
  • 3.4 Method / Procedure of Acquisition Applied

Chapter Four

4.0 Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Sources of Data
  • 4.2 Method of Data Collected
  • 4.3 Description of Statistics for Analysis Data

Chapter Five

5.0 Findings, Recommendation and Conclusion

  • 5.1 Findings
  • 5.2 Recommendation
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • References

Chapter One


The theme of this dissertation is acquisition and compensation under the Land Use Act 1978. Land is of tremendous importance to man because it is basic of all his endeavours. People look to land for their physical environment, for the food they eat and other materials needed to clothe their bodies and to provide housing and manufactured goods, for building sits, for recreational activities and for scenery and open space.

“Also, it is the very foundation and framework upon which social, political and economic activities of a nation function”. The explains why there are emotional, spiritual and financial attachments to land in Nigeria.

“The word land means different things to different people and in different contexts”3 has been variously defined by different disciplines. An ordinary person may regard land as a piece of the earth’s surface and its sub – soil. From economic point of view; it is a key factor in production and an economic good characterised by scarcity, utility and transferability. Land to the lawyer on the other hand is not the virgin, rent – bearing soil and other natural resources of economic theory, it is much more. “It includes all corporeal things subjacent and superjacent to the soil and annexed there to”4. The legal view of land does not only include, visible and tangible structures and object (corporeal hereditaments), but also includes intangible and abstract objects (incorporeal hereditaments ). Land, in the language of the property and conveyancing law of Western Nigeria includes.

Land of any tenure, building or part of building, whether the division is horizontal, vertical or made in any other way, and other corporeal hereditament; and also a rent an d other incorporeal hereditaments, and an easement, right privilege or benefit in, over or derived from land.

Human life and society as we know cannot exist without land because it is the base of all human activities as no development takes place without it. For centuries, most wars were taught for the possession of land, and the average with the soil, field, forest and fishing that provide him with sustenance. This, right in land were often the key factor that determined an individuals economic, social and political status. “It is also regarded as the link between the dead, living and the unborn of a family hence its inalienability”5. “As a result it is regarded as a taboo to sell land acquired through inheritance”6. Therefore, where the motive of a land owner is spiritual, the loss of property cannot be adequately compensated for by cash payment or offer of an alternative land.

It is an obvious fact that compensation for land compulsory acquired is not always paid on time. When cash payment are made such payments prove inadequate to compensate for the property compulsory acquired.

However, this can be redressed by removal of unnecessary bottle – necks in the procedure, and the setting up of effective appeal machinery to lubricate the wheels of compulsory acquisition and compensation machinery in Nigeria.

1.1 Statement of Problem

Land is of tremendous importance to man because it is basic to all his endeavours – all economic and human activities ultimately depend on land. that is to say land is a special natural resource that forms the foundation of all human activities as no development takes places without it.

In Nigeria, acquisition of and compensation for interest in property is statutorily controlled in accordance with the provisions of the land use Decree (1978) among others. In acquiring land for developmental project, there are bound to be problems which in some cases affect the rate of development in the area.

In practices, there is evidence especially in remote village that the natives grumble because compensation for land is no more paid to them as was the case before the promulgation of the land use Decree. So, they do not even known that the land is now vested in the government.

Compensation for the properties compulsory acquired are not promptly paid by some acquiring bodies. They delay in compensation payment greatly subjects the occupiers or owners to serious financial problems and inconveniences. Even the puzzling basic of compensation has given rise to legal actions and disturbance of activities at the Akure Airport.

In such cases, negotiations is struck between the two parties and the amount agreement is deposited. Disputes also rose over ownership of economic trees.

In addition, t her is the problem of threat to the lives of the field employees during acquisition.

1.2 Aims of Objectives

The aim of this study is to explore:

  1. The evolution of compulsory acquisition in Nigeria with a detailed discourse on the provisions of the land use
  2. Decree on acquisition and compensation for privately owned lands.
  3. To resolve the conflicts surrounding the acquisition and compensation of land in the Akure Airport through suggestions and recommendation in this work.
  4. The problem associated with the acquisition and compensation of this study.
  5. Draw inference from available primary and secondary data to alleviate these problems encountered during acquisition of land and compensation.

1.3 Significance of Study

Research involves investigation. The outcome of which is knowledge. The knowledge could be on addition or a new idea. The significance of a research work in man’s search for knowledge and understanding is so basic that it seems necessary to stress its importance in the field of eminent domain. This study covers areas of land acquisition, payment of compensation, land resources.

This work therefore, will be of some interest and relevance to the Nigeria land owner and potential and owners. Professional in environmental fields; and students of Estate Management, Urban and Regional Planning and law will find this work useful. This study will be of importance to the policy makers in public and private sectors. The government and oil companies will not be left out in benefiting from this study.

1.4 Research Methodology

The data used in the production of this dissertation are derived from two broad sources; VIZ –

Primary Sources:

These are original sources of raw data collected in the process of investigation. The necessary data or information required for this study were collected under this source.

The ministry of land and housing which is the government agent responsible for the exercise of power of compulsory acquisition, was interviewed.

Secondary Sources:

Information derived from this sources are basically form text books, government publication, maps and newspaper were used in this study.

1.5 Limitation and Scope of Study

Research on compulsory acquisition and compensation is a length and complicated process that cannot be dealt with exhaustively in such a limited space like this dissertation.

In the light of this, the study is limited to compulsory acquisition and compensation of Akure Airport, Ondo State and inference made there is also about Nigeria as a whole.

Compulsory acquisition and compensation is a very broad subject. Its practice spans throughout the country. But for purposes of detailed interview this study is restricted to Akure Airport. For purpose of this study, analysis is limited to economic tress and houses.

Chapter Five

Findings, Recommendation and Conclusion

5.1 Finding

It was discovered in this study that serving acquisition notice through the family head is adequately efficient and cost effective as against the provision of the Land Use Act. Serving notice through the family is the most efficient mode.

It was discovered that there was delay in payment f compensation. The Akure Airport site was acquired in 1976 and government took immediate possession of the land. While compensation was not paid to the dispossessed owner until 1991 when 60% of the amount due was paid.

Also, no interest was paid for the delay in payment of compensation as provided by the law. It should be noticed that the claimants due to ignorance of the law did not make any claim as regard interest for delayed payment.

5.2 Recommendation

Having enunciated some of the problems of land acquisition and compensation and based on the findings of the research, it is believed that with the implementation of the measures suggested below, those problems will be reduced if not totally eliminated.

The delay in payment of compensation is an avoidable problem if the cumbersome bureacration process can be removed. The provision of interest at bank rate may, often not represent an adequate solution to the problem. A revaluation may not be a solution either as the properties have become hypothetical after destruction. The suggested solution are:

  1. Compensation should be paid promptly before effective possession is taken of the acquired property. It may be argued that delay payment is not avoidable in times of emergency, but in my opinion, such situation can be arrested by paying the compensation with some urgency it requires.
  2. A system of installmentally payment of compensation should be evolved rather than waiting for the time to discharge the obligation of paying the out standing compensation unblock.
  3. An officer who without clear reasons delay or neglect discharging his official duties in respect of the payment of compensation should be disciplined.

It should be made mandatory for acquisition authorities to pay interest for delay in payment of compensation as provided for in sec. 29(4) (6) of the Land Use Act. This should be paid at the prevailing bank rate, and this fraction of the compensation should be made known to the land owners as interest for delayed payment.

The Land Use Act authorises the appropriate land officer to determine or prescribe the amount for economic crops and trees whereas it did not specify the method of arriving at the rates. In computing rates for economic crops and trees. Therefore, their present age, life span, economic importance, open market price with other determinants of value should be considered. The rates should also be reviewed to reflect present situation, and it is recommended that such review be conducted at a maximum interval of 4 years.

The government should try as much as possible to avoid acquisitions that will involved displacement of people. Where possible, villagers/shrines should be excised. This will not only reduce the burden of compensation, but minimize resistance tendencies.

It is also recommended that important positions of responsibility with respect to land issues both in the ministerial and extra ministerial departments should be occupied by valuers. This is moreso where a lot of valuation will be needed. The dispossessed land owners or occupiers should be encouraged to seek the services of qualified valuers. The expert knowledge of valuers should always be sought in enacting any law relating to land matters.

The Land Use Act as the current law governing the acquisition and compensation of land and other land issues needs to be removed from the Nigerian Constitution to case amendments. By entrenching it in the constitution, the Act has become a fundamental law thereafter, provisions can be made for:

  1. Buildings and other structures using the open market value for rentable ones and cost replacement approach for those that have no market comparables
  2. Transfer of superior interest in land to the federal government, taking the state and the local government as agents.

5.3 Suggested Areas for Further Research

It is suggested that the life span of various economic crops and trees be resealed into. This is to ensure a higher degree of accuracy in valuation fo economic crops and trees the relying on people’s experience and assumptions in respect of their life span. It should be noted that this data will also be of importance to other field like agriculture, economics, geography and others.

The income generating capacity of these economic crops and trees, also needs further research. In the course of this the country can be divided into zones and income-generating capacity is found for each crop in these zones. This will help to differentiate between a given crop that is cultivated under its right conditions, thus required little effort to cultivate and maintain; against the same given crop being cultivated under adverse conditions.

Finally, research could be directed towards finding an adequate compensation for hunting right, sacred places, shrine and other related interest.

5.4 Conclusion

This research clearly reveals the various problems encountered while making efforts to acquire land for public purposes in Ondo State, with special reference to the Akure Airport.

It is a fact that government requires land in order to provide necessary facilities for the society. Therefore, government needs to be given sufficient powers to compulsory acquire any property provide it is for public purpose.

However, the provisions of the Land Use Act are yet to be effectively implemented in some government acquisition exercise of which the Akure Airport project is a good example.

It is my view and that of the majority of land experts, that the Land Use Act, 1978 be amended to make it more appropriate to the Nigerian situation. It has created more problems than solution for the land problems in Nigeria.

Finally, compulsory acquisition has generally been regarded as a necessary evil. But since it is necessary to the socio-political and economic functions of the government, the practice has to be accepted and accommodated.

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