The six types of certificates of occupancy you should know about by Dennis Isong



There’s so much wrong information out there. Beware! Don’t just believe everything. Not everything you see out there is correct. The fact is this, there are different types of occupancy but people know only one type which is the one that last for 99 years.

A Certificate of Occupancy is a certificate given to a land that shows that you are the rightful owner of that land.


Let me first make reference to the most popular one which we know.


This particular one is the one you have when you buy a land. You can actually use this certificate to obtain a loan. It can last for the time frame of 99 years and you can do it in your name which is unique. It is also known as Individual Certificate of Occupancy.

Certificates of Occupancy have different categories which depend on the individual or organization.


This is for those that want to go into farming. These people intend to use their land just for farming.

For example, in Ikorodu, most lands in Epe are zoned under Agric zone. So, even though the land has what we call Free Hold, however, when you check it, it falls under Agric zone. If you want to process that in the future, it can be changed to residential. But for now, most land in Ikorodu falls under the Agric zone. The tenure for Agric Certificate of Occupancy is 25 to 28 years.


This type is given to industry, for example, Dangote. The kind of certificate Dangote has in Ibeju-Lekki Lagos is Industrial Certificate of Occupancy. And if you observe, for you to get this kind of Certificate of Occupancy, the place where you get your land will be in extreme part of the state where we have less population in order to restrict pollution.

The kind of Certificate of Occupancy that will be given to you in that area, will be Industrial certificate of occupancy. It can be given to a company, not an individual. The tenure is 35 years.


If you are familiar with Lagos terrain, you would notice that there are some families that have certificates of occupancy in their name- Family certificate of occupancy.

This doesn’t have a tenure. Before a family can have that Certificate of Occupancy, it means the government gave them based on their reputation

  1. GOVERNMENT ALLOCATION If you pay attention, you would have come across lands that have government allocation. Each government allocation will always lead to C of O. That is also a type of C of O because each will lead to C of O.

Allocation can be given to a company, or to ministry, a reputable person, or foreign investors. If you come into the country to invest, the government can allocate land to you instead of buying from individuals.

  1. EXCISION Excision is a type of Certificate of Occupancy given to a village.

It’s also a type of C of O. When a land has excision, you cannot have two types of Certificates of Occupancy on that land.

The next type of title you can process for that land is the Governor's consent. But before you can process the Governor's Consent, the land has to be gazetted.


A gazette is the legal newspaper of a country or a state , which publishes the text of new laws, treaties,regulations,court decisions,legal notices and decrees.

When an excision land is published, it is what we call gazetted Land . It is after that you can upgrade it to a Governor’s consent, not a C of O.

Excision is a type of C of O given to a village, i.e., can ONLY be given to a village.

In summary, for residential C Of O , it can be given to an individual or Company. Agricultural C of O can also be given to an individual or a company. Industrial is given to a company. Family Certificate of Occupancy is given to a family only if the family is reputable. Government allocation can be given to an investor, a company or an individual depending on a purpose. You can appeal to the government for this. Excision can never be given to an individual but a village. When you buy a land with excision, the first thing to do is, that land is gazzetted, then you proceed to make it have what we call Governor’s consent. Excision on its own is a valid title by the government which is also a certificate of occupancy that doesn’t have a tenure. You can go ahead and process that certificate of occupancy to the Governor's consent.

Dennis Isong Helps Nigerians in Diaspora to Own Property In Lagos Nigeria STRESS-FREE. For Questions WhatsApp/Call 2348164741041

Appeal for support

Conflict Reporting is dangerous and risky. Our reporters constantly face life-threatening challenges, sometimes surviving ambushes, kidnap attempts and attacks by the whiskers as they travel and go into communities to get authentic and firsthand information. But we dare it every day, nonetheless, in order to keep you informed of the true situation of the victims, the trends in the conflicts and ultimately help in peace building processes. But these come at huge cost to us. We are therefore appealing to you to help our cause by donating to us through any of the following means. You can also donate working tools, which are even more primary to our work. We thank you sincerely as you help our cause.

Alternatively, you can also email us on or message us
via +234 803 931 7767