AGRICULTURAL LAWS AND REFORMS IN NIGERIA
Agricultural Laws and Reforms are concerned with laid down rules and procedures that guide acquisition and utilisation of agricultural lands.
Land Tenure System
Tenure rules help define how property rights to land are allocated within societies.
Land Tenure Systems in Nigeria
- Communal ownership
- Free hold
- Tenant at government will.
GOVERNMENT LAWS ON LAND USE IN NIGERIA
The Land Use Act
The Land Use Act was promulgated by the Federal Government of Nigeria on March 29, 1978. It is a reform essentially aimed at encouraging proper productive and efficient use of land. The Act stipulated that individuals can only use a piece of land for 99 years after which the land reverts to the government. It also stated that farmers should not be allocated more than 500 hectares of land for crop production or 5,000 hectares for grazing. According to the Land Use Act 1978, all land users must acquire certificate of occupancy / land ownership once the person is above 21 years.
ADVANTAGES OF LAND USE ACT
- It has made land acquisition relatively easier for new entrants into agriculture.
- It prevents fragmentation of land since land acquired under the decree cannot be shared into bits.
- It has enabled reduction in boundary disputes and court cases since survey of acquired land is mandatory for occupancy right to be granted.
DISADVANTAGES OF LAND USE ACT
- It leads to escalation in the cost of land survey.
- It has somehow impoverished communities whose main assets were their lands.
- It has encouraged dishonesty through illegal sale and backdating of ownership or title deeds after 1978.
- Land is not necessarily allocated to every potential agricultural developer.