Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa has called on Directors of Lands of Federal and states ministries to introduce innovative, “out-of-the-box” solutions to address the challenges bedeviling land administration and access in the country. The call was made in an address delivered at the opening ceremony of the 28th Conference of Directors of Lands in the Federal and States Ministries which kicked off in Lagos on Wednesday 15th November 2023.


Declaring the two-day conference open, the Minister said the participants must truthfully assess the results of previous editions and see if any results have been achieved from such deliberations. “As we begin this 2023 edition, the 28th one in a series, we must do so in full recognition of the current inefficient and challenging state of land administration in our country today. To do this means asking ourselves some tough questions to bring us to reality and confront the answers.


Acknowledging that most of the challenges confronting land administration in the country are beyond the control of the Directors, he urged them to be more innovative and “think outside the box” to proffer solutions in the sector. “I must acknowledge that some of these problems are beyond the capacity of the Conference and Directors to resolve. Indeed, the most fundamental ones such as the Land Use Act 1978 require legislative amendments and national government policy interventions. However, there is a lot of room for innovation to circumvent the limitations posed by some of these barriers.


“We have seen in States such as Kaduna and Kano, where innovative leaders have found ways to implement reforms that have helped them ease land administration by introducing efficiencies in land titling and property registration despite the limitations of the Land Use Act. These states deserve our commendation. And my charge to all of you attending this 2023 Conference is that we must do likewise. We must think out of the box, innovate, and learn to do things differently. That will help us make progress and change the narrative going forward,” he said.


The conference, which has the theme, “Improving Land-Based Revenue of the Federating Units in Nigeria through Efficient and Effective Land Administration”, provides an avenue for useful deliberations which will form part of recommendations for policy-making in the sector. Arc. Dangiwa assured the participants of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to land reforms by addressing the systemic challenges.


“Mr. President has a bold vision for the sector and is committed to backing it up with the necessary political will to break down all barriers to unlock the revenue earning potential of land. As the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, we have taken Mr. President’s vision and are running with it. Our aim is to implement the most historic land reforms the country has ever witnessed to make it easier, safer, and more profitable for the private sector to invest in the sector and make good returns,” he added.


Dangiwa further noted that plans are underway to establish a National Land Commission that will guide and chart a new course for effective land administration in the country. He said the move will help improve land titling processes which will boost Nigeria’s ranking on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business where we currently rank 186th out of 190 countries in terms of ease of registering properties.


He, therefore, called on states and stakeholders to support the policies of the Federal Government by adopting the Model Mortgage Foreclosure Law in order to attract more investments in the real estate sector. He added that it is only by addressing these challenges and adopting progressive policies that the Ministry can generate land-based revenues for the government and foster economic development through growth in the real estate sector.