REALWorld Law

Sale and purchase

Registration of title

Is real estate registered/does a reliable register of land ownership exist? Are transfers of title recorded? Is title insurance common?



There are Land Registry Offices in all states of Nigeria where the registers and records of all real property in urban areas are registered and updated as further real estate transactions occur.

There are however, no registries for title or records of ownership rights for undeveloped lands in rural areas, however, all lands within a state are covered by the geometric survey plans prepared by the State’s Surveyor General and kept in the survey departments of the states where land information confirming state rights and purpose can be obtained by an intending purchaser.

An investor in real estate in a rural land that is unregistered and free from government acquisition may after purchase from the customary owners apply to the State Governor for a direct grant of the right of occupancy.

Title insurance against losses due to defects in owner’s title in real property is not common in Nigeria.

Are transfers of title recorded in this country?

Real estate title records are duly documented in the Register of Deeds securely kept at the respective States’ Lands Registry Offices and in the respective states in Nigeria and the Federal Land Registries in Nigeria. The register is an authoritative record of the interests in specific properties. All subsequent transfer of interests in real property are registered in the respective files as a charge and record of the transfer of the title to the purchaser or assignee.