Land Acquisition in Nigeria Essay

Introduction and Major hindrances of 1978 Land use Act: In the Niger Delta region, the traditional land holding system have been thwarted by the land use act as the interest of a majority of the people have been hijacked by a few powerful individual who now control land and land resources in collaboration with multinational companies. In most part of southern Nigeria, particularly the Niger Delta region, the administration of Landwas carried out under the customary tenure. At this point of time Nigeria was under military dictatorship.

Following are a couple of the drawbacks of the Act: 1)Power of Governor to revoke rights of occupancy. The main fault of the Land Use Act of 1978 was that it transferred title and ownership of land from individuals and communities to the governors who hold the land in trust but many of whom have been known to have abused the power and privileges conferred on them by the Act. It also made acquisition of land by individuals and corporate bodies for commercial and economic development purposes extremely difficult.

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Despite all the cries and agitations for review of the Act, the federal government obstinately refused to embark upon such review exercise. To further worsen the situation, the federal government placed the Act under the 1999 Constitution thus making it extra difficult to review and amend it because any such review and amendment will have to go through the same process as stipulated for the review and amendment of the Constitution itself. 2)Power of Governor to grant rights of occupancy free of rent or at reduced rent. This greatly increased the chances of lobbying with the government and obtaining land for free.

The corporates couls lease land at cheap rate and give them away for rent or build huge plants and profit billions a share of which would not be obtained by the society. Land Tenure System In Nigeria The different land Tenure systems practiced in Nigeria have some basic common features which include dependence on the following: Ethnic geographic location The Niger Delta region of Nigeria is situated within the Gulf of Guinea and covers an area of approximately 80, 000 square kilometres representing about 8% of Nigeria’s land mass. Population

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups with a population of 149,229,090. Employment opportunities in the industry for local communities is limited. The very high capital– labour ratio in the oil industry meant that growth in the oil operation is generally reflected not inrelative expansion of employment but in capital Cultural hierarchy Land ownership was defined by clans, villages, families etc. Application for a landed property required prior approval by his Royal Majesty. People are predominantly farmers and fishermen.

Economic conditions Nigerian economy depends mainly on oil and gas and the country’s crude oil production within the Niger Delta region averages over 2,118million barrels per day. On the average 90 -95% of Nigeria’s export revenue is derived from oil and gas Economic reforms Prior to December 2006, of the 89 banks in Nigeria, the Big 4 banks control 55% of industry deposit. Top 20 banks control 90% of assets, while others are small players. After the capitalization of Banks to N25bn, about 11 of 25 Nigerian Banks are now within the top 18 in Africa and among the op 1000 in the world. Major Reforms in the Public Sector: • Due Process on the execution of government projects and procedures. • Indigenization and local content for Oil and Gas which created unprecedented opportunities • Due to Oil exploration and exploitation activities, construction of export pipelines, Tank farms and other onshore oil facilities, a lot of farm land is lost or forfeited. In addition, as a result of waste generated from oil and gas related activities, water is polluted, biotic and aquatic environment are degraded.

It is sad to note that despite the huge resources the Nigerian state derive from this region,it is one of the most under developed in both infrastructure and human resources. • As a result of the land use act which vested, in the Governors rights to hold lands in trust on behalf of the people, not enough compensation is paid to land owners in the rural communities. In the end they are impoverished more than the oil companies met them. This has been the root cause of agitation and militancy within the region during the last decade.

Land acquistion for oil and gas facilities: • In order to acquire land for the development of oil fields and oil and gas facilities, survey plans are prepared. These plans will usually form the major document for the acquisition of lands for access roads,blue peg locations, Oil and Gas pipelines right of way, flow lines Right of Way, flow stations,Tank Farms etc. • Inventory of land holding and improvement on the land by individual, communities, families etc are undertaken by the estate Surveyors and Valuers using the full preparation plan as a base map. Such inventory are used to compute compensation payable to landowners. • As a result of the land use act, little compensation is paid to such land owners, their means of livelihood are destroyed and they are left with little or nothing once the small compensation paid for the cash crops and other improvement in the land is exhausted. In addition, as a result of the activities of the oil companies, the Eco system is changed, farmlands, fisheries and other activities are adversely affected as a result of environmental degradation. This situation has contributed immensely to the crisis in the Niger Delta region. The young people who as a result of the poverty in the region have little access to education, and those who are educated have no access to decent jobs nor capital for investment, therefore, resorted to militancy,violent crimes and of recent Kidnapping and demand for ransom. • As the land mass within the Niger Delta region gets degraded as a result of oil exploration and exploitation, the demand for agricultural land, housing and other human needs increases. Another factor affecting land use and land availability within the Niger Delta region is the multi ethnic nature of the region and attendant population pressure on lands within particular areas claimed by individual ethnic group. • Land availability, land resource, land use, land policy and management all have adverse effect on the social economic situation in the Niger Delta region today. Satisfaction with Implementation of the Land use Act: Non |Satisfaction |Dissatisfaction | |Response | | | | |Very |Satisfactory |Unsatisfact |Very | | |Satisfactory | |ory |Unsatisfact | |11% | | | |ory | | |1% |16% |20% |52% | | | 17% | 72% | Rating on Compensation for Land Acquisition for Oil and Gas Non |Satisfaction |Dissatisfaction | |Response | | | | 6% |Very |Adequate |InAdequate |Very | | |Adequate | | |InAdequate | | |2% |13% |35% |44% | | | 15% | 79% | Conclusions ? The investigation has shown that the land Use Act has not adequately addressed the problem of the oil and gas producing communities. A land tenure system that deprives indigenes of their natural ? The Land Use Act does not adequately cater for the interest of rural and communual land owners during acquisition by oil companies. ? Compensation from oil and gas companies to oil and gas bearing communities for landsacquired for facilities development are quite inadequate Modifications required: Effect structural changes in the system of land tenure: Prevent economic inequality caused by the appreciation of rising cost of lands by land speculation – Make land available early and cheaply to both government and private individual investors and developers. It was thought that with the land Use act in place, mechanized agriculture will rapidly be developed so also industries and mass housing for the populace. However, a lot of factors have impeded the success of the act. These include: – Political manoeuvres and selective availability by the Government in power and multinational companies – Insincerity by clan heads and community representatives and leaders – Lack of adequate database for land title registration – Ambiguous boundary description as a result of inadequate land records.

Some of the critics of the act opined that the law was made without efforts to relate it to our indigenous idea of land holding and our cultural values. Land Acquisition and China Introduction: The interrelated forces of economic growth and policy reform are stimulating rapid and fundamental transformation, especially in Chinese cities, where infrastructure projects, urban renewal, housing development and reform of state-owned enterprises are taking place at an unprecedented pace and scale. The Policy: The catalyst for this surge in urban development has been the widespread adoption of the Land Use Rights System (LURs) in which land ownership and use rights have been separated.

Both the Chinese Constitution and the 1999 Land Administration Law (LAL) specify that the state, in the public interest, may lawfully requisition land owned by collectives, thus setting the stage for compulsory land acquisition. The local government is thereby able to acquire land cheaply from farmers and sell it to developers at much higher prices. Since there is no market data for farmland prices, the government pays collectives and peasants a compensation package that includes three components: • Compensation for the land itself • Resettlement subsidies • Compensation for improvements to the land and for crops growing on the requisitioned land. The law stipulates that compensation for cultivated land shall be six to ten times the average annual output value of the acquired land for the three years preceding the requisition.

The amount of the resettlement subsidies depends on the number of people living on the land, but each person’s subsidy shall not exceed six to ten times that of the annual yield from the occupied land. Several Conflict of Interest issues are emerging from land acquisition process: 1. Individual developers also can acquire land if they have strong political connections. These profit-making motivations are responsible for increasing corruption in real estate and creating chaotic and uncoordinated urban development patterns. 2. Different levels of governments take a cut out of the monetary compensation that is supposed to go to the farmers. For example, the Chinese government built a pipeline that transfers natural gas from the western to the eastern part of the country.

This was a national project, so compensation to peasants was paid by the state, but the amount of compensation varied from province to province. The state gave 20,000 RMB (US$2,500) per mu (one mu=666. 67 square meters) to peasants in Henan province for their land. At each transfer point, a portion of funds was retained for that level of government to finance their own public goods and services. The peasants received only 5,000 RMB in the end. 3. Third issue is the equity of compensation, profitable projects such as commercial housing and business developments can afford to pay higher prices for land than public transportation and infrastructure projects such as highways, railroads, airports and canals. 4.

The LAL requires that the quality of life of farmers shall not be adversely affected by compulsory land acquisition, but does not specify concrete measures to achieve this goal. As a result, many peasants end up living under worse conditions several years after their land was taken than they did before. For instance, Zhijiang province alone has more than 2 million farmers who have lost their farmland. In 2002, more than 80 percent of legal cases filed by peasants against governments in the province were related to land acquisition. According to the General National Land Use Comprehensive Plan, China needs 18. 5 million mu of land for nonagricultural uses in the first decade of the wenty-first century, and 90 percent of that land will be acquired from farmers. It is estimated that 12 million farmers will lose their land through this type of acquisition. Land Acquisition Reform in China Recognizing the enormous problems associated with land acquisition, several cities have adopted different approaches to protect farmers’ rights and interests so their lives will not be adversely affected. These approaches include: • Joint ventures (Shanghai). Collectives share stock in the land they transfer for projects. In return, they receive annual cash payments equivalent to average profits from farming. • Combination of cash resettlement and provision of social security funds (Zhuzhou and Jiaxing).

The local government establishes a social security fund for the elderly so they are paid on a monthly basis rather than in a lump sum fashion. The amount of their pay is equivalent to the minimum standard set by governments for urban laid-off workers. • Compensation based on location, not previous land use (Nanjing City). This example is closer to compensation based on farmland markets. • Attempting to make the land acquisition process more transparent so farmers know where and when their land will be acquired and how much they will be compensated for it. REFRENCES: http://www. nigeria-law. org/Land%20Use%20Act. htm http://www. onlinenigeria. com/land/? blurb=530.


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