Over the years I have seen and heard stories of people who struggled to acquire land, acquired land and struggled to keep it, acquired land and lost it, acquired land and never set eyes on it. The stories are just too many. Investing in real estate is usually straight forward but in Lagos, sometimes, it can be unnecessarily difficult. You need to investigate, use professionals and pray! Yes, pray.
The majority of land issues is caused by dishonest land owners popularly known as omoniles. The honest ones will not give you any problems at all. They will always be available to help with whatever you need. But may you not fall into the hands of the dishonest ones. One experience with them can discourage you from investing in real estate ever again.
There should be a way to curb the excesses of these omoniles. One thing I believe can be done without delay is to make it illegal for them to sell their lands directly to individuals. Every property transaction with an omonile will be null and void. They should be made to do business with approved real estate companies only. The business relationship/partnership between them (omonile and the real estate company) will be registered with the government and the real estate companies will deal directly with them, shoulder the risks and help them sell their lands. This will help eliminate problems like paying for the same land twice, paying for land that several other people have paid for already, moving your land from one place to another because someone offered more money, forcing clients to use their family surveyor, thuggery, etc. It will also help reduce land-related court cases and unnecessary wasting of time and resources on property investigations.
Lagos State government has to really look into this!