LAND SAFETY: HOW SECURED?

Prof. Muhammad Bashar Nuhu

Thursday 1st August, 2019

Federal University of Technology Minna,
Main Campus,
Gidan Kwanu,
Minna, Niger State

 

Given the level of our land resources estimated at approximately 92.4 million hectares, no Nigerian should go to bed on an empty stomach and everybody should have a decent and affordable roof over his or her head. The reverse is however the case in Nigeria, hence the land safety challenge and land security. Poverty is everywhere, both rural and urban. Majority of Nigerians are absentee landlords in our towns and villages either by inheritance or purchase. We have been using our powers of ownership and control to hold on to these tracts of land without accounting for it.

Land information is lacking as we do not know who owns what and where in Nigeria. Rather many Nigerians wallow in poverty while our productive lands remain idle. Conflicts abound everywhere over vast areas of productive lands and no geopolitical zone of the country is spared. Consequently, there is an urgent need to overhaul our entire land management and administration framework architecture in order to protect vulnerable groups against the “vultures” of local land grabbing.

Such holistic intervention by public authorities will entrench transparency in negotiations involving land deals especially in peripheral areas, discourage corrupt practices by the government officials, community leaders, and influential individuals. Nigerians would then be able to use their ingenuity to invest, produce, eliminate poverty and create wealth for themselves and the country would develop. All forms of insecurity would then vanish and the country will experience lasting peace.