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Certificate of Occupancy in Abuja Nigeria (Key Steps).

In Nigeria, including Abuja, obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for your landed property is a crucial step in establishing legal ownership and securing your rights as a property owner.

Title registration in Abuja, Nigeria, is a crucial legal process for establishing and protecting property ownership rights. Abuja, being the capital city of Nigeria, has its specific procedures for property title registration. Here’s an overview of title registration in Abuja.

Land Use Act:

The Land Use Act of 1978 is a federal law that vests all lands in Nigeria in the hands of state governors. It means that individuals or entities cannot “own” land in the traditional sense; instead, they can only hold Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) or other recognized titles that grant them the right to use and develop the land.

Land Investigation: Before purchasing land, it’s essential to conduct thorough due diligence to ensure that the land is not encumbered, and the title is clear. Engage a qualified surveyor and lawyer to help with this process.

Land Purchase: Purchase the land from the seller through a legally binding agreement. Ensure that the transaction is properly documented and that all parties involved sign the necessary contracts and agreements.

Obtain a Survey Plan for a Certificate of Occupancy

Engage a registered surveyor to prepare a survey plan of the land. The survey plan is required for the processing of your Certificate of Occupancy.

Apply for Consent: You must obtain the consent of the appropriate authorities for the sale and transfer of land. In Abuja, this authority is typically the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA). Apply for consent, along with all required documents, to the FCDA.

Payments of Fees and Taxes: Pay all applicable fees, charges, and taxes, including the Consent Fee, Ground Rent, and other statutory payments. Keep all payment receipts and records.

Land Allocation: If the land was allocated to you by the government. follow the procedures outlined by the relevant authority for land allocation.

Survey Verification: The survey plan prepared by your registered surveyor will be verified by the relevant land agency to confirm its accuracy.

Building Plan Approval: If you plan to develop the land, you must obtain building plan approval from the appropriate authority in Abuja.

Inspections and Assessment: The relevant authorities may conduct site inspections to verify the details of the application.

Processing and Approval: Your application will be processed, and if all requirements are met, you will receive approval for the Certificate of Occupancy.

Issues of Certificate of Occupancy:

Once your application is approved, the Certificate of Occupancy will be issued to you. Ensure that you keep multiple copies of the certificate in a safe place.

  • Land Survey: Engage a licensed land surveyor to carry out a survey and produce a survey plan of the land
  • Application: Submit an application for a C of O to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Abuja.
  • Documentation: Prepare all required documentation, including the survey plan, architectural drawings (if the land is for construction), and other relevant documents.
  • Site Inspection: Government officials may conduct a physical inspection of the land to verify its details.
  • Payment of Fees: Pay the necessary fees, which may include processing fees, land charges, and other levies.
  • Approval:
  • If the application meets all requirements, the FCTA approves and issues the Certificate of Occupancy.


Registration: Register the Certificate of Occupancy with the Land Registry or Deeds Registry in Abuja. This step is essential to protect your property rights.

Keep Records: Maintain all records, receipts, and documentation related to your land and the Certificate of Occupancy.

Registration of Deeds:

All land transactions, including sales, transfers, and mortgages, must be documented in deeds. These deeds should be properly drafted, executed, and registered with the appropriate land registry in Abuja. Registration of deeds helps legitimize property transactions.

Encumbrance Searches: Before buying property in Abuja or acquiring a C of O, conducting an encumbrance search at the land registry is advisable. This search will reveal any existing encumbrances, such as mortgages or legal disputes, on the property.

Legal Advice: Seek legal advice from a qualified lawyer or real estate professional experienced in Abuja’s property laws and regulations. They can guide you through the registration process and ensure compliance with all requirements.

Due Diligence: Before purchasing land or property, conduct thorough due diligence to confirm the authenticity of land titles and property documents and verify the legitimacy of the seller or developer.

Caveat Emptor: Exercise caution when dealing with property transactions in Abuja, as there have been cases of land scams and title disputes. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of the property’s history and legal status.


It’s important to consult with legal experts, surveyors, and government authorities to ensure that you follow the specific procedures and requirements for obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy in Abuja. Land-related processes in Nigeria can be complex, so professional guidance is highly recommended to navigate the system successfully.

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