“It was easy to get the certificate of occupancy for our house. The value of our house has risen, and our property is now more attractive. We rent the upper floor and three shops on the ground floor, and now we can ask higher rents. Our income is now better, and we have money for our basic needs and education,” says Aliyu, aged 26, one of the four children in the Nigerian Nakande family.
Before, land title registration involved high costs, lengthy delays and bureaucratic difficulties. The official certificate of occupancy cost EUR 800, and there was no guarantee for the end result. Things got better when the EU funded a project to develop Systematic Land Title Registration (SLTR) in Nigeria in 2014–2017. The SLTR provides certificates of occupancy to all land owners for EUR 14. Having an official certificate of occupancy also increases the property’s value. Owners can then start a small-scale business of their own and thereby improve their income. Every year some 50,000 families register their land property using the new system. Finland supported the project through the EU.
Photo: EU, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta