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Experts clamour for improvement in property registration

Added on 6th May 2014
The federal government in Nigeria may be working really hard to curtail the process of property registration and development, but with latest reports showing the country as one of the most expensive & longest property registration nation, there is a lot of work still yet to be done.

In pecking order, Nigeria is ranked below nations like Ghana, South Africa, Thailand, New Zealand among others. Reports show that the Nigeria property registration takes an average of 12 procedures and cost a whopping 15% of the property value as against neighbouring Ghana, where it requires just 5 procedures, 34 days and 1.3% of the property value.

Just as its mortgage sector has the least contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at less than 1 percent, the Nigeria property registration has created unsatisfactory responses from construction and real estate experts in the country.

Olusola Olubode, former managing director of Refuge Homes Savings and Loans Limited (mortgage bankers) says that in New Zealand, a property could be registered online in two days, at a cost of 0.1 percent of the property value.

Quoting a World Bank report on Doing Business in Nigeria, which showed Nigeria as one of the world???s most difficult places to register property, Olubode hinted that in Thailand, registering property requires just one step, less than a day and 1 percent of property value.

TPL Victor Emdin admitted that the property registration process is cumbersome but the advent of technical issues and legal issues are some of the factors that have slowed down the growth in the nation.

Dapo Ojo of Estate Links Limited, cited South Africa, of which he said, depending on the size and value of the property, it takes between one and two months to perfect land title documents, explaining that it takes one day and zero percent cost to register a property valued at R0 ??? 600,000, and 3 percent for a property valued at R600,001 ??? R1.000,000.

In the UK, he said, it takes 1-2 months, six procedures and 4 percent of the value of the property to register a property, while it takes the same 1-2 months, six procedures and between $1,000???$8,000 to do the same thing in the USA.

As experts continued to clamour for improvement in the property registration and development, government therefore has a very significant role to play to yield positive results. ???Government???s role in property registration is that of creating an enabling environment that stimulates private sector participation in the long-term. These will include provision of physical infrastructure, enhancing the soundness and competitiveness of institutional frameworks, ensuring standard building codes and developing property rights???, rightly suggested by Mr Olusola Olubode .
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