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National Arbitration for Nigerian Land Issues

Monday, June, 27, 2011

A committee of the federal government in the African nation of Nigeria recommended that government institutions use the national arbitration process in order to adjudicate conflicts over land ownership.  Few issues in Nigeria are as contentious; land there is regarded as the element from which all other wealth is derived, a point of view common in third-world countries and in those with subsistence farming economies.


In general, land reform refers to a transfer of ownership of real property.  It sometimes involves transferring land from more powerful segments of society into the hands of the less powerful.  These transfers may or may not include compensation.  Due to Nigeria's complex colonial history, many of the native inhabitants of the nation lacked land, a situation which was addressed in the Land Use Decree of 1978, which stated that it was "in the public interest that the rights of all Nigerians to use and enjoy land in Nigeria .  .  .  should be assured."


National Arbitration Now Needed?


However, the act in practice tended to cloud issues of title, since many Nigerians were allowed to use land without ever acquiring legal ownership of it.  This situation has continued for more than a generation, leading to the current call for arbitration.  Environmental arbitration is another common solution to land use disputes worldwide.

Learn more about Arbitration or find an Arbitration Attorney in the National Arbitration Directory.