By Moses Adeniyi
Following the controversies, challenges and complexities surrounding the processes and status of registering titles to assets and landed properties in the country, the President of the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Rowland Abonta has said that politicising issues relating to title in Nigeria sets the country aback from optimal economic growth and development.
Expressing dissatisfaction on the prevailing trend in third world countries, Nigeria in particular, regarding the acquisition of title to properties, Abonta expressed concern that the processes of title acquisition appear to be fraught with administrative bureaucracies and bottlenecks, which tends to impact the economy negatively.
He further stressed that it is until when concrete efforts are effected to address the appalling status quo, Nigeria will continue to wallow in the pool of economic crisis it is currently in.
Speaking to our correspondent exclusively, he highlighted the importance of title in the Real Estate sector, stating that for every property to carry the baton of its value a title is sine qua non, while stressing that “without title there is no Real Estate”.
He said, “For every property to be worth anything at all and be useful, it needs a title. Without title there is no Real Estate. That’s how important title is to Real Estate particularly in the world of investment. It is the title that is transacted upon when there is transaction between two parties of Real Estate. So it is a compulsory thing and mandatory.
“It is only that in the third world countries like Nigeria, that is where these issues of title are politicised and full of administrative bureaucracies and bottlenecks, and in that way the entire developing world or the entire undeveloped nations, particularly Nigeria has kept itself behind this optimal economic development and growth because of lack of title to land. So it an important and serious issue and until when we face it right in that area, our economy will continue to experience the problems we are already facing as a nation.”
Meanwhile Prof. J.A Onyike, a Real Estate Surveyor and Valuer, has stressed the necessity of a paradigm shift in the Real Estate sector in Nigeria from what he termed ”beed registration” to “titled registration” the latter of which according to him, proffers huge guarantee from the Government and as a result appears more protected and secured to end users.
Noting that titled registration is the practice that is obtainable in the developed world, he stressed that one of the major challenges bewildering the Real Estate sector in Nigeria, is the pervasive practice of beed registration
Asserting his position he said, “One of our major problems is that in this country, we don’t have don’t titled registration. What we have is beed registration in most States. In beed registration, the onus lies on whoever registers as to the authenticity of the document; whereas in titled registration, the onus lies on the government to make sure that what they registering is correct. In that case the government takes extra care to inspect and confirm that the details arrive before you register a title.
“But when it comes to beed registration, they just take it and register it and if anything goes wrong, it is the business of whoever uses the document because there is no guarantee from the government. Whereas in titled registration the guarantee is from the government. That is where we should be heading to. Most countries that are doing well in Real Estate; England, Australia, and other developed countries, do titled registration, so that when you go to any land ministry to get any information, if anything is wrong with it, the government is liable.
“But if it is beed registration, it’s not the government’s business; what they registered for is what was given to them. So where we should be heading if we want to check some of these problems is titled registration.”