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Features of the Act - SS2 Agriculture Lesson Note

The Land Use Act of Nigeria, enacted in 1978, is a significant piece of legislation that governs the ownership and use of land in Nigeria. 


  • Ownership of Land: One of the most notable features of the Land Use Act is that it vests all land within a state in the Governor of that state. This means that individuals or entities cannot claim outright ownership of land but rather hold it as a "statutory right of occupancy" issued by the Governor.


  • Control and Management: The Act gives state governments control and management authority over land. This control includes the allocation and reallocation of land for various purposes, such as residential, commercial, agricultural, or public use.


  • Consent of the Governor: To transfer or lease land, individuals or entities must obtain the consent of the Governor. This requirement aims to ensure that land transactions are transparent and legal.


  • Compensation: The Act outlines provisions for the payment of compensation to individuals or communities whose land is acquired by the government for public purposes. Compensation is meant to be fair and just.


  • Land Use Planning: The Act emphasizes the importance of land use planning and zoning. It empowers the government to plan and regulate land use to promote orderly development.


  • Land Tribunals: The Act establishes land tribunals to handle disputes related to land matters. This is meant to provide a mechanism for resolving conflicts and ensuring justice in land-related cases.


  • Community and Customary Rights: The Act recognizes customary land rights and the role of traditional authorities in land administration. It seeks to balance modern land laws with traditional practices.


  • Public Interest: Land can be acquired by the government for public purposes, such as infrastructure development, but only if it is in the public interest. Compensation is usually provided in such cases.


  • State Land Use and Allocation Committees: These committees are established by state governments to advise on land allocation and utilization, ensuring that land is used for its designated purpose.


  • Land Use Act as Supreme: The Act is considered supreme in matters of land use, and any other law or custom that contradicts it is void to the extent of that contradiction.


In summary, the Land Use Act of Nigeria centralizes land ownership and control in the hands of state governments, emphasizing the importance of planned land use, compensation for land acquisition, and dispute resolution mechanisms. It plays a crucial role in shaping land-related policies and practices in Nigeria.


Recommended: Questions and Answers on Land Use Act of 1978 for SS2 Agriculture
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