Gender and Land Rights Database

Nigeria

Sistemas prevalecentes de posse da terra

  • At present, most of the land in the country is for leasehold and the governor of the state may grant statutory rights of occupancy for 99 years. Indigenous areas are governed by customary land tenure (18).
  • Rent is fixed at the governor’s discretion. Certificates apply to urban or rural land and must be approved by the governor.
  • Customary certificates of occupancy are administered by local government councils and apply solely to rural land. Any certificate may be revoked by the governor under compulsory acquisition. By holding a certificate, one is entitled to compensation for existing improvements on the acquired land. The law stipulates that land sales, mortgages and subleases can be transacted only with the approval of the governor (12).
  • A variety of customary land tenure practices has evolved influenced by the regions and historical events. The spread of Islam in the Sabel reinforced individual land rights, altering communal patterns of land tenure in the northern region. Colonialism’s stronghold in the north and the evolution of the market economy further contributed to more individualized tenure regimes. The presence of Fulani pastoralists has fostered a system of overlapping rights between farmers and herders (12).
  • In general, traditional land tenure was based on customary laws under which land was considered community property. An individual had usufructuary rights to the land he farmed in his lineage or community area. He could possess the land as long as he used it for the benefit of his family or society and he could pass the land on to heirs and pledge its use to satisfy a debt, but could not sell or mortgage it. The right of disposal belonged only to the community, which, acting through traditional authorities, exercised this right in accordance with customary law.
  • In the south, even though colonial authorities sought to protect native rights to land, land sales and leases to foreigners were widespread, creating a myriad of different tenure arrangements under the categories of freehold, leasehold and customary tenure. The introduction of cocoa to the south spurred the development of land markets, increasing individualization of tenure. This trend continued to the present, strengthened by growing land scarcity arising from significant population growth and a decline in the amount of arable land. 
  • The rich, fertile land of the south is home to the dominant tribes of the Yoruba to the west and the Ibo to the east. Customary land tenure among the Youba emphasizes household rights to land. Once land is allocated by the village leader to a member of the lineage, the land remains permanently within the family and is passed down to its heirs so long as it is not alienated. 
  • The Ibo observe more communal rights to land whereby cropland beyond the household compound is subject to periodic rotation among community members following fallow periods. Before 1978, communal land in the south was vested in the stool, an office presided over by the Oba or paramount chief. 
  • Communal tenure is giving in to greater individualization as the rights of the community are increasingly giving way to those of the household. More often, there is a mixture of communal and individual tenure, depending on the different types of land and crops. Even in communal systems, lowland swamp regions suitable for rice cultivation are subject to individual tenure rules (12).
  • Tenant farming is widely practised within customary tenure systems. This happens when families seek to farm land in a community dominated by another lineage. In communal systems, arrangements are usually made with the village chief, who assigns the tenant land in exchange for periodic tribute. Where family land predominates, access to land is by arrangement with the household head and tribute is paid to him, in cash or in kind. The assertion of individual rights to land, combined with the expansion of the market economy, means that the tenancies are assigned shorter terms, on an annual renewable basis, and tributes more often are in cash. Outsiders tend to have greater access to land held under communal tenure than land dominated by household tenure (12).

Instituições nacionais e locais que executam as disposições sobre a terra

  • According to the Land Use Law of 1978, the governor of each state holds all land of the state and administers it in trust for the people. The governor, with the assistance of a land use and allocation committee:  grants statutory rights of occupancy and easements appurtenant to statutory rights of occupancy; may waive all or any of the covenant or conditions applying to a right of occupancy; and may revoke a right of customary occupancy for an overriding public interest (20).
  • The National Agricultural Land Development Authority was established under the National Agricultural Land Development Authority Decree of 1992.
  • The management of the Authority is vested in a governing board. The objectives of the Authority are to: i. provide strategic public support for land development; ii. promote and support optimum utilization of rural land resources for accelerated production of food and fibre; iii. encourage and support economic-size farm holdings and promote consolidation of scattered fragment holdings; iv. encourage the evolution of economic-size rural settlements; v. provide employment opportunities for rural people, raise rural incomes and improve the general living standards in rural areas; and vi. expand productive capacity in agriculture and regain export capability in traditional and non-traditional crops. 
  • For each Local Government Area of a state and the Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, a Local Government Project Implementation Advisory Panel is established under the control of the Authority (20).

Instituições de administração da terra e quotas de participação da mulher nelas.

  • Probe Panel on Landed Property: 14 percent women in 1999.
  • Bureau for Lands and Survey: 11 percent women in 1999.
  • Ministry for Rural Development: 11 percent women in 2002.
  • Nassarawa Agricultural Development Programme: 17 percent women in 2002.
  • Ministry of Agriculture: 40.5 percent women in 2002 (11).
  • Each state has a Land Use and Allocation Committee responsible for advising the governor on land management and resettlement issues (20).
  • The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Land Use and Allocation Committee was statutorily created by the Land Use Act of 1978 to advise the FCT Minister on any matter connected with the management of land, with particular reference to land allocations and other related matters. 
  • Other duties of the Committee include advising the Minister on the resettlement of people affected by the revocation of rights of occupancy and dealing with disputes regarding the amount of compensation payable under the Land Use Act for improvements on land. 
  • The FCT Land Use and Allocation Committee was inaugurated in June 2008 (23).

Disposições de financiamento que dão garantias à mulher às transações de terras

  • In 2005, the Women Fund for Economic Empowerment (WOFEE) was launched as an initiative of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Financial Institutions to benefit women with a revolving soft loan facility to enhance the capacity of rural women. WOFEE aims, among other things, to facilitate access to goods, marketing strategies, business training and infrastructural facilities and to provide a supportive policy environment (5).
  • In March 2006, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA), in collaboration with the National Agricultural Cooperative Rural Development Bank (NACRDB), established a funding window for delivery of microcredit to grassroots women’s cooperative societies in 22 states (5).
  • The Multi Partner Microfinance Scheme (MPMF), which emerged from the partnership among Central Bank, commercial banks, microfinance institutions, cooperative societies, state and local government authorities and other private companies, maintains an enlarged pool of funds for lending to women and young people in the rural areas (5).
  • Women Cooperative Societies in different parts of the country are also accessing loans under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Bank programmes (5).
  • From 2005–2006, the Jigawa State Government provided support to 2 000 rural women to be gainfully engaged in animal husbandry (5).
  • Between 2004 and 2006, the Kano State Government established 11 new cottage industries and reactivated 16 old ones to improve women’s economic status (5).
  • In 2006, the Borno State Government provided grinding machines and water pumps to women in 135 rural communities (5).
  • In 2006, Kaduna State disbursed a loan of 6 million naira to 121 indigent women to facilitate rural agrobased trading. In addition, 23 cottage industries have been established in the 23 local government areas of the state. The cottage industries are for processing cassava, honey, chili pepper and fruit juice (5).
  • In 2005, the federal government and the State Ministry of Women Affairs (SMWA) in Akwa Ibom and Abia, in collaboration with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), set up various initiatives to maximize cassava production that targeted rural farmers, especially women. A similar project, Cassava Revolution, exists in Ogun State (5).
  • There is increased funding for agriculture, agro-allied activities and fishing under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund (ACGSF), coordinated by the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) with many participating banks (5).
  • Rural telephone projects are being implemented by the government in partnership with private telecommunication companies and women cooperatives at the rural level to bridge the telecommunications gap and expand women’s access to economic opportunities (5).

Outros fatores sociais, econômicos e políticos que influem nos direitos à terra diferenciada por gênero

  • The Land Use Act of 1978, by requiring only the head of household to apply for registration, limits women’s access to ownership and titling. The Act also limits women from obtaining land by linking land acquisition to financial capacity and bureaucratic familiarity.
  • However, lack of widespread compliance with the law in rural areas provides women with at least use rights to land given by their husbands, under customary tenure (12).
  • Although customary practices regarding landholding and devolution of land rights in family circles have persisted within the indigenous communities in the Enugu area, a market for land has also developed due to non-indigenous migrants’ access to indigenous land (13).
  • Rural women’s increased involvement in home-grown microcredit schemes is facilitating women’s trading activities and other forms of enterprises (5).


Sources: numbers in brackets (*) refer to sources displayed in the Bibliography