Dynamics in Nigerian Land Administration System and the Inevitability of Decentralization
6 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2019
Date Written: June 30, 2019
The heterogenous nature of the Nigerian society underscores the emergence of pluralistic legal and land administration system. An evaluation of the historical synopsis of the Nigerian land administration system and reforms reveal the inevitability of statutory recognition of these practical realities and their implications. The adoption of the Nigerian Land Use Act of 1978 and its land nationalization agenda implied a sharp deviation from the status quo. Understandably, this policy choice was informed by the need to provide lasting solution to problems associated with pluralistic legal and land administration systems in Nigeria. However, the continued existence of these problems and the emergence of fresh constraints clearly underscore the ineffectiveness of this policy choice to the achievement of desired goals, particularly as it relates to customary tenurial arrangements. Thus, the urgent need for a paradigm shift. In respect of above concerns, this paper develops a novel and decentralized land administration model along the pre-existing zonal blocs; reflective of practical realities and social dynamics of the Nigerian state. Such would provide for the eventual adoption of innovative, more realistic and zone-specific land administration system reflective of practical realities and social dynamics of the Nigerian state, thereby providing equitable and secure land rights for all Nigerians.
Keywords: legal pluralism, customary law, land administration, sustainable development, land reform, tenure security, decentralization
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