LAND REGISTRY PRACTICE IN NIGERIA
This research work is based on the premise of discovering what the practices of land registration has been and how to improve on it. The registration of land before now was a tedious thing to achieve due to the movement from one capital to another (in Akwa Ibom). Lands in the rural and some urban area are not registered therefore fraudulent practices sometimes emerge due to the lack of authenticity of lands in this areas. The dubious practice that go with unregistered instruments arise due to the fact that such instruments are not registered and when a buyer of the land comes, such buyer finds it difficult to trace the history of the land and has to go through rigorous practices of having to trace the ancestors of the vendor and getting confirmation from the village heads, family heads and family members etc. Such lands are earmarked with trees which cannot give a valid or authenticate certification that the land belongs to the vendor.
The problem that this research work is going to raise, is the problem that originates in the registration of land, land registration practice in Nigeria is a practice that gives validity or authenticity to a bonafide land owner it certifies that a person has acquired a valid title to the lands but due to the erroneous practices that follows the registration of land, land buyers do not have interest in registering their land with the land registry, the tedious practice of waiting for long periods and the monetary terms involved discourages people from registration. The problem with land registry practice also is the lack of awareness, this problems are the driving forces behind this work. The problem of land registration in a state like Akwa Ibom State is traced to the fact that when files where moved from the then Cross River State to Akwa Ibom State that was newly created, files where lost and cannot be properly traced in the land registry.
A critical look at the critics of Nigeria today reveals that they are confronted with plethora of land related problems emanating from the uses registration, allocation, distribution and ownership of land. I want to find out about the implementation of the Land Registration Act of 1994 and to investigate on contemporary issues of registration of land in Nigeria. In this stating the 1994 Registration Act was selected and its implementation critically examined. The reason for selecting the 1994 Registration Act was because since the drafting of no other Registration Act have been drafted, which happens be the current and Registration Act that have been drafted in Nigeria. the land Registration policies in this study were the effect of non-registration, principles of registration, the prerequisite of registration land, the compulsoriness of registration and the reactions of Nigerian courts toward non-registered instruments.
1.4 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The aim of this work is to clarify the issue of registration of land and reasons why land are or are not registered and to add a little contribution to the registration practice in Nigeria especially Akwa Ibom State. The aim of the research is to ascertain whether land registration policies of Nigeria have contributed to the development in land law.
The method that will be used in this work will be interviews, questionnaires, library work and also a comparative look at two places. These are the methods that will be used in this work to add to the legal profession.
1.5.1 Research Question
The questions that will be raised in this research are:
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research will be limited to Akwa Ibom State and Cross River State, due to the vastness of Nigeria, it limit myself to this two states as a University undergraduate Nigeria is too wide to study. This work will be limited to Akwa Ibom and Cross River State, Uyo and Cross River that is the state capital will be my area of concentration. Akwa Ibom State was carved out of Cross River State, the two states have a link with each other and Enugu State was formerly the capital for registration of land, but the purpose of this research work concentration and emphasize will be made be Akwa Ibom and Cross River State. The little reference will be made to Lagos State, the practice in Lagos State is more advanced therefore a little comparative will be made between Lagos State and the two states.
This research topic is too wide to be treated nationally, but rather the researcher has limited it to only Uyo urban. The period of study was from 2004 to date. All parastatals for implementation of land registration were considered such as; State Ministry of Lands, Local Government Area.