Forget Location: When Buying Land in Nigeria (or Africa), Genuineness is King

In developed markets like Europe, the USA, the UK Japan, Dubai, E.T.C.  location is everything. But in emerging markets like Nigeria, the most important factor to consider before buying land is its genuineness. Many rich and poor buyers get lured in by promises of high returns or the buzz around projects like the Dangote Refinery.

Essential Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying:

  • Is this land legitimate?
  • Does it align with current government development plans?
  • Is it under the government acquisition?
  • Are there external issues like family issues, Mortgage encumbrance, etc?

Sadly, even real estate companies make these errors. Up to 60% of land purchased in areas like Epe, Ipo, and Etche may face potential future loss. It’s already happening in Ibeju Lekki, where one company misled buyers on zoning and title document availability, leaving them in legal limbo.

Future governments may not care about bribes paid in the past. Landmark’s struggles are a prime example. Even after substantial payouts to acquire the land in 2007, the land turned out to be “right of way” (proposed location made for future road).

Prioritize Peace of Mind

Don’t get caught in the location hype. Peace of mind comes from knowing your land is secure. Use tools like Sytemap to verify the land’s status and avoid painful, expensive lessons.

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