land ready for building lagos state

Land documents in Lagos state

Land documents in Lagos state: This is very important and must not be taken lightly when buying land or property. This we shall dwell on in this post. First of all, I hope you read our previous post titled: “Is it too late to own a house in Lagos this year?” If you haven’t please start with that. This is a continuation of that post.

We talked about the four ways you could own a house in Lagos: starting with buying from developers and paying up over a period of 36 months. We talked about rent to own apartments and we ended by discussing buying land to gradually build, which we will continue with here.

Furthermore, there are so many things involved in buying land in Lagos and generally Nigeria. If you want to buy land you will most likely find yourself in three buying situations. You can either buy from a family/ individual or from a developer or from the government.

Now there are different documents you should get or ask for if you buy from any of the above.

We will proceed by listing all the land documents you should have or possibly get.

Types of Land Documents in Nigeria

  1. Receipt of Land Payment
  2. Approved Survey plan
  3. Approved Layout
  4. Excision Document
  5. Power of Attorney
  6. Deed of Assignment
  7. Certificate of Occupancy
  8. Governors Consent

What to know before buying land in Nigeria

These rules are not cast in stone. There are situations where one covers the other like in the below.

Land documents to demand for if you are buying from a family (within a rural community) or an individual (one who has bought and wishes to resell):

Receipt of Payment

Approved Survey plan

Excision Document

Gazette of Excision

This is mostly applicable if you are sold land by a traditional ruler or by a family in a rural community. Also, endeavor to take a picture with the traditional ruler.


Receipt of Payment

Deed of Assignment

Approved Survey plan

Certificate of Occupancy (C of O)

Land documents to demand for If you are buying from an estate developer: eg Adron Homes, Lekki Gardens etc

Receipt of Payment.

Approved Survey plan

Approved Layout plan

Power of Attorney

Global C of O

Land documents to demand for If you are buying from the government:

Receipt of Payment

Approved Survey plan

C of O

In case you don’t know how these documents look like. I will show you samples of them and where you can go to check their authenticity.

If you note: there are two documents you must receive if you pay to any of the three.

Receipt and Survey document.

Land Documents Details


Like that for the family. The receipt must be a family receipt or Estate developer’s receipt for that by developers and consequently Government receipt for that from the Government.

family receipt

A family land receipt sample.

An Approved Survey Document

This is the most important document you must get when you are buying a land or even a house.

A survey document shows an accurate measurement of the boundary of a parcel of land. Qualified Surveyors handle survey issues and they are regulated by the office of the surveyor general of Lagos State. A survey plan must contain the following information:

The name of the owner of the land surveyed

The address or description of the land surveyed

The size of the land surveyed.

The drawn-out portion of the land survey and mapped out on the survey plan document

The beacons numbers

The surveyor that drew up the survey plan and the date it was drawn

A stamp showing the land is either free from Government acquisition or not

Land Survey Document1

A land survey document sample

In the case of buying from a developer alongside your survey plan, you should get a layout plan. This is the layout of the estate and shows where your plot is located in the full picture.

estate layout plan

Estate Layout Plan Sample


This means taken apart from a whole.  The part that has taken apart is excised and will be recorded and documented in the official government gazette of that state. In order words, not having an excision means the land could be seized by the Government anytime without compensating. This is even if you bought it legitimately from the Baale or the original dwellers on the land.


This is an official record book where all special government details are spelled out, detailed and recorded.

A gazette shows the communities and villages that have been granted excision and the number of acres or hectares of land that the government has given to them. It is within those excised acres or hectares that the traditional family is entitled to sell its lands to the public and not anything outside those hectares of land given or excised to them.

For example: If in 1981, Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki were all part of one big community joined together as Oniru and it had no separation to know which area is called Ikoyi, Lekki or V.I then, and it has an approximate total area square meters estimate of 100,000 square meters and the Government is interested in that area and decides to take 70,000 square meters for itself for its own personal use as an Urban Area or public purpose, it will record this acquisition in the official government which is Gazette and also record the remaining 30.000 square meters (EXCISED PORTION) has been left alone for the traditional family to have and do with it whatever it pleases it to do.  This is a good example of the relationship between Excision and Gazette.

Lagos state govt gazette

A Sample of Lagos State Government Gazette

You can read more on this in our next post here:

Tony Usoro
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