A REVIEW OF LAND ADMINISTRATION REFORMS IN NIGERIA.
BY:- MARTINS T. ADENIPEKUN
DEPT. OF ESTATE MANAGEMENT, LAGOS STATE POLYTECHNIC,IKORODU, LAGOS. firstname.lastname@example.org, 08023167702, 08036317528. ABSTRACT
Administration of land is as ancient as the creation of man. In Nigeria, the socio-economic and political factors had overtime brought about different administrative reforms put in place to foster developments.
Certain patterns of land administration had emerged in Nigeria before and after the colonial administration but failed to meet up with the challenges that brought them in place. This paper therefore is an attempt to appraise the various land administration systems in Nigeria to date. It focuses at the systems of land resources management traditionally before the colonial era, compared with the changes established by the British Administration and to the present dispensation. The paper concludes with suggestions that could meet the challenges of the present time national land resources management.
KEY WORDS: LAND, ADMINISTRATION, REFORM, PROPRIETARY RIGHT
1.0 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Land Administration or management of land generally focuses on the various policy changes put in place over time. Within the context of this topic, the following interpretations would be used in this discourse. The term “Land” is a word of many meanings which suggests different things to different people based upon their outlook, interest, and assessment at the moment. Land is synonymous to life as all aspects of human activities touches on land. Conceptually, land in African perspective is thought of as: spirit, space, situation, nature, factor of production, consumption good, property, and capital. With the continued process of modern civilization as well as population pressure and urbanization on the fixed land resources of the earth, the perception of land as a “free good” has shifted greatly. Land is now better appreciated as a “basic economic good”. The definition as well as the determination of the various interests in land (ownership, usufructuary, freehold, leasehold, customary, or statutory) constitutes the legal aspects of the land without which the meaning of land itself cannot be understood and / or managed. “Administration” in its simplest meaning connotes management (management on its own entails exercise of certain degree of control which involves implementation) and when related to land, one thinks of the existence of a carefully and properly documented policy earnestly put in place to achieve some desired objectives. An administrative framework enables qualified personnel exercise their skills. In the words Oludemi (1972, 2.2.1), land administration is conceived as the exercise of executive responsibility over the land resources of a nation. In this respect the success of any land administration depends on the policy issues put in place – whether it is a workable one, a durable, dependable, or one that can easily be executed at reasonable cost, or whether it is in fact the direct opposite, or a combination of these ; or the result also may depend on the efficient performance of the professional and administrative actors as well as by the adequacy or otherwise of the various inputs or tools that are required in land management processes. “Reform means to change from worse to better; to amend; or form anew. It also means a beneficial change; amendment; a change in regulations of parliamentary representation. As used here in Land Administration, Reform is intended to mean a complete amendment to the past inadequacies and unsatisfactory land management policies that had evolved over time. Reform does not take place except there had been lapses, disappointment and failures in past successive policy/administrative set up. Several challenges are met in order to rationalize equitable uses of national land resources in the face of dynamic socio-economic and political demands for land. These are buried...
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