1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
One problematic issue in Nigeria now is having access to urban land, especially housing, commercial, industrial, recreational, and other urban development projects like infrastructural and social amenities. Because of this chronic shortage of urban land, prices have shot up incredibly, leaving most urban residents in fear that they might never be able to have their own house. Some who manage to secure urban land especially through land-owning families pay for such land twice or thrice, depending on how many floors they want to build. This has become the practice in many parts of Lagos. This shows that the demand for land in Lagos metropolis is extremely competitive.
Since the urban land is not easily accessible in the city, land thugs are having a field day grabbing land belonging to other people. Land owners too are not immune to the temptation of selling the same land to many buyers and even invading government land. This has made buying land in Lagos a very risky endeavour especially when the buyer fails to engage the services of professionals in handling the land transaction. The failure to engage the services of professionals is probably due to lack of fund or ignorance.
Lagos state is obviously faced with the general problems of accessibility to land. And studies shows that, one of the major problems of land accessibility is government policies and laws which emanated from enactment of the land use Act of 1978 (Umezuruike 2003). The Act nationalized all lands in the country (Iseh2003). Access to land in Nigeria is affected by the operation of land use Act. Its operation so far seems to have created more of bottleneck (Omirin 2003). The land use Act created serious problems for land management in the entire country (Mabogunje, 20003). Land speculation, racketeering, and thuggry had been on the increase (Udo, 1996). Though researches on land accessibility under the land use Act in Lagos is limited. The aim of this study is to appraise land accessibility under the Land Use Act in Lagos.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
An increasing proportion of the rapidly growing world population is attempting to satisfy its economic and social needs and desires in an urban context. The enormous migration of people into cities and towns has probably produced an uncontrollable urban explosion, an unprecedented increase in population, and greater demands on the urban infrastructure. The increasing population has led to a higher demand for urban land. This has made the demand for land far higher than its supply. Its physical supply is highly limited even as the demand for its use is increasing daily. As earlier stated in the background to this study, one of the problematic issues in Nigeria now is having access to urban land. Land is an important issue in every society. It affects all activities of man such as social, cultural, economic, political, religious etc.