Real Estate Developer

15 Basic, Definitive and Fantastic Facts every Real Estate Developer must know about Town Planning in Nigeria

As a real estate developer in Nigeria, you need to know some basic town planning facts. Should you be building or developing anything upon land within Nigeria, there are laws regulating;

  • What is to be built
  • How should this be built?
  • Where ‘s to become built.

The objective of these laws are to make sure we have an effective and aesthetic society. There’s absolutely no  developed city that has no  development guideline on what is usually to be  built.


To carry out any physical development in Nigerian cities  there is a  need to get  authorization from the authorities. If you are a real estate developer in Nigeria, please try and know about these physical development terms / facts.


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What is  Town Planning?

Town Planning is the system by which the use and development of Land is managed for the benefit of all community. The overall aim of the system is to ensure a balance between enabling development and local amenities. The idea is to create better and balanced environment for people to live , work, play recreate and move around with utmost ease.


Why is Town Planning  Important?

Planning is important because it directly affects our physical environment and in so doing influencing our quality of life and general well being. Planning shapes our environment and the way we live, work and recreate with many advantages when involved in planning process and preparation of the Area and Planning Permit Consideration.


Difference between Excision and Gazette


Who is a Real Estate Developer in Nigeria?

A real estate developer is someone who oversees and manage the construction of a building from start to finish in order to maximize its economic and business potentials. It may involve converting vacant land or empty buildings into new businesses and homes.

Specifically, real estate developers need to see the potentials in a piece of land or property, then plan  to turn it into investment opportunity. They develop a plan that includes finding investors to buy  property, decide what things to build or rebuild on that property. They forecast how much cash the new real estate development project will generate. Real estate developers have expertise in the following areas:

  • Land Acquisition
  • Property Market Studies
  • Real Estate Loan Application
  • Development Approval
  • Project Financing
  • Real Estate Marketing

What is Physical Development?

The carrying out of any building, mining or other operation in, on, over or under any Land or the making of any material change in the use of any land, building, structure or conversion of Land, building structure from its established or approved use. This include the so called temporary structures (marquees, gazebo, containerized structures).

What is Development Permit?

Development permit under section 102 of the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010 means an approval or assent given for the time being to a development and includes Layouts, or Sub-division Plan, building control authorization given at construction and post-construction stage.

Who can Process Development Permit?

Owner of his/her agent, who must be a registered professional in the building industrial in the building industry(such as: Town Planner, Architect, Engineer, Builder, Estate Surveyor/Valuer, Land Surveyor and Quantity Surveyor) can submit such application.

What is Approval Layout?

This is a land sub-division plan for public or private developments. It must be prepared for a land of 1 hectare(10,000sqm) and above . To be prepared by a professional Town Planner registered and authorized to practice in Nigeria.

What is Planning Information?

This is information to the public about the status of a particular land area with respect to land use, density, height, and zoning, in addition to other statutory requirements as provided in the regulations.

Click here to learn more about Planning Information in Lagos State, Nigeria


14 Important Real Estate Documentations / Terms you should know as a First-time Property Buyer

What is set back?       Down Arrow

It is the distance to be observed between the building line and property boundary, water bodies, right of way of infrastructural facilities and utilities.

Highways and Road setback

  • Federal Highway – 90m right of way; 45 meters from the centre to the property line.
  • State Highway – 60m right of way; 30m from the centre to the property line.
  • Local Road (State) – 24m, 18m, 15m,12m, 9m, 7.5m, 6m right of ways respectively form the centre to the property line as applicable.

What is the Horizontal distance from Electricity high Tension lines ?

  • 11KVA       =  6M
  • 33KVA       =  10M FORM THE Tower leg.
  • 132KVA     =  20M FORM THE Tower leg.
  • 330KVA     =   30m form the Tower leg
  • Substation = 12m form the sub-station boundary

What is the setback to water bodies?

  • Ocean and sea = 150m
  • Lagoon = 50m
  • Rivers and creek  =15m
  • Gorge, canals and drainage =10m

Setback to Railway lines?

  • Minimum of 21m setback between property line and railway line.

What is the distance between two(2) Petrol Filling Station?

  • 400m on the same side of the road,250m on opposite sides without a road median

What are the space standards for Residential Planning Permit?

  • Standard – 6m
  • Substandard  – Existing building line
  • Special schemes – 9m (Lekki  I&II, Apapa and Ikeja G.R.A’s)
  • Others – As specified by approval orders or regulations for such Scheme or Area for core areas such as Lagos Island, Ipodo, Ebute Meta where existing building lines are followed .

Air spaces

  • Standard – 3m both sides.
  • Substandard – 1.5m on side and 3m on the other side.
  • Others – 3m between main building & B/Q and 6m between buildings of two (2) floor and above.

Rear Airspace

  • Standard – 3m
  • Substandard – 3m
  • Others – 4.5m if height is up to 4 floors.

Do Developers have a Right to Appeal to Town Planning Authority Decision ?

Yes! Appeals are made if a dissatisfied developer feels the Approval Authority’s decision has been unreasonable or not within the expected time or conditions. Each application is dealt with on its own merit.

Can the Public Write Petition?

Yes! Petitions could be written against any Physical Development, addressed to the appropriate Town Planning Authority in the State where the Project is being carried out.

Physical Development  Do I Really need a Consultant for Physical Development Project Approval?

No, it is not compulsory to engage a consultant. However, some Real Estate Consultancies  and Town Planning Agencies specialize in such processes and will be able to advise you on every step; they have strong networks with government departments and other parties involved in Planning Information Service, they can support you with every necessary detail.

Everything you need to know about Land Excision in Nigeria


The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Always do your research and consult the relevant expert before you embark on any physical development project in Nigeria.

Town Planning Remarks


Real Estate is one of the most expensive investment in this world, it makes your money, livelihood and life savings on the line. If you are not extra careful, you may become the basketball of land scammers, fraudulent sellers, and dubious agents.

If you don’t carry out special due diligence, you may be presented with fake property documents, buy a disputed land or purchase a government acquired property.

Learn more about our Real Estate Due Diligence Service


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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