Property rights

This is a reminder that property rights continue to remain insecure in Nigeria and are subject to the discretion of public officeholders in many cases. In such an atmosphere, it is not unexpected that investors will take the hint and vote with their feet. The 1978 Land Use Act was supposed to reduce land conflicts among citizens, unify land tenure and land administration procedures, achieve a more equitable distribution of and access to land rights for all Nigerians, and facilitate government control over land use and development at a time when the country was rapidly developing after years of political instability and the Civil War. Unfortunately, it has failed to achieve any of this and has instead concentrated a lot of power in the hands of state governors whom the law made the primary land managers in the country. The uncertainty that this legal regime foisted on property rights has been a struggle ever since. Immense wealth remains locked up in land in Nigeria simply because of how insecure property rights are. Transaction costs are significantly higher than they should be and turn around time as well because of this. What is more, the Zamfara governor may just have created the template for other governors to carry out these types of blanket exercises. All round, this represents a step backwards on the road towards economic development.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store