Land Excision in Nigeria

5 Powerful Facts about Land Excision in Nigeria

First, there are laws regulating the use of Land and Land Excision in Nigeria, and the most popular one among them is the Land Use Act of 1978. The act stated that every portion of land within the Nigerian territory belongs to the government. The popular Certificate of Occupancy – C of O originated from the Land Use Act of 1978.


According to the Act, the government has power over all the land in the country, and it was because of this Act that the government was able to acquire some indigenous lands belonging to some Families, Chiefs and Kings.  Where the government has acquired Family, Chiefs and Kings’ land, the government will make an announcement to the general public and document the same in the official Gazette.

In the case of Lagos, it is clearly known that Lagos State has the largest economy in Nigeria, and also has a smaller land mass. In fact, Lagos is majorly occupied by water and only a smaller portion is land area. There is much competition for land in Lagos, and this is what is majorly driving competition for land.

Land Excision

In order to save public interest, and further the development agenda of the State, the government leveraged the Land Use Act of 1978 to acquire some lands from the indigenous settlers/owners and recorded the same in the official Gazette.

After the official announcement by the Lagos State Government about her compulsory land acquisition across the state, some indigenous owners appealed to the government for a release of their customary land, the government listened and gave out some portion back to them, and this brought us to the term called “Land Excision”

#1 What is Land Excision in Nigeria

A portion of land is said to be excised if such has been legally released, through a government Gazette, to indigenous settlers. Excision simply means a land free from government acquisition thus other documents like surveys or C of O could be quickly processed on such land.

Buying Land in the outskirts of Lagos comes with caution because this is where most of the land acquisitions by the government occurred. The government of Lagos acquired some lands in Ibeju-Lekki, Epe, Badagry, and Ikorodu. Buying land in these areas comes with extra care.

#2 How does Land Excision Connect with Gazette

Any land that is released back to the members of the public or the original indigenous settlers of a certain community, must be documented and gazetted in the official government record. The purpose of this gazette is to keep the general public aware of the decision of the government as to the acquisition status of the subject land.

#3 What Differentiates Land Excision from Gazette

Excision means a segment of land legally released to the indigenous owners by the government. While a Gazette is the official and public record documenting the size, the location and other details about the excised land.

Click here to learn about Land Information Certificate in Lagos

#4 How do I Verify Land Excision Status in Lagos?

To verify land excision status in Lagos or anywhere in Nigeria, you will need a real estate consultant who understands the details of Property Title Documents, and Land Matters, these professional would consult the right Authority and then collect the necessary land data to affirm whether it falls under the Free Land, Acquired Land or Excised Land.

#5 Do I Really Need a Consultant for this?

No, it is not compulsory to engage a consultant. However, some Real Estate Consultancies specialize in such service and will be able to advise you on every step; they have strong networks with government departments and other parties involved so that they can support you with every necessary due diligence with less hassle.

If you are already planning to buy a property in Lagos, or anywhere in Nigeria. Please click ; Real Estate Due Diligence Service in Nigeria for further assistance

Final Remarks

Verifying land status before you buy will not only tell you the current status of the land (whether it is free from Government acquisition or not), but it is also one of the requirements you will need when processing your property ownership documents in Nigeria.


The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Always do your research and consult the relevant expert before you buy any property in Nigeria.

Author Profile

Bolaji Afolabi
Bolaji Afolabi
I am Bolaji Afolabi, I am a Partner at Globalclique, we provide Real Estate Technologies, HR/Talent Acquisition/Outsourcing Support and E-Business Solutions. We are a multi–disciplinary Solution Provider.

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