Lawyers Seek Review Of Land Use Act

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Some lawyers, yesterday, in Lagos, called for a review of the provisions of the Land Use Act of 1978 to keep reflect current realities and circumstances.
The lawyers told newsmen in interviews that the review would also enhance access to land titles.
According to them, the provisions of the Act are obsolete and need urgent remodelling.
The Act regulates the use and administration of lands.
It vests all lands comprised in the territory of each state (except land vested in the Federal Government or its agencies) solely in the governor of the state.
The governor is responsible for allocation of lands in all urban areas to individuals and organisations for residential, agriculture, commercial and other purposes while similar powers with respect to non-urban areas are conferred on local governments.
Some Lagos-based lawyers argued, yesterday, that the Act conferred many powers on the governor whose consent, they claimed, was rigorous to obtain.
A social critic, Mr Spurgeon Ataene, said that the Land Use Act required urgent reforms.
According to him, the Act seems oppressive on landowners, as citizens are faced with outrageous bills to secure certificates of occupancy and governor’s consent.
“Let the control of land revert to the people; if the government is interested in any land for public policy, it should involve the owners of the land, and pay them enough compensation.
“The controlling government needs to exert should be in ensuring quality buildings to avoid building collapse and loss of lives; penalties should be spelt out for offenders.
“Another means is to incorporate clauses that will ensure prompt compliance with affordable housing policy; nobody should frustrate citizens by giving premium to one area of the city over the rest, as if those other areas are non-existent.