This project, undertaken for the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group from 2008 to 2010, focused on problems with real property transactions in Nigeria that are creating disincentives to investment and leading to an extraordinary level of informality in property markets. The project sought to identify the roots of the problem by study of current real property market dynamics through in depth interviews with stakeholders, secondary source research, and detailed mapping of institutional capabilities and administrative procedures. The work resulted in development of detailed recommendations for regulatory and administrative reform in key areas affecting access to land for business enterprises and investment in land development.
A main component of the work was a review of randomly selected administrative case files in the Ministry of Lands and the Ministry of Planning and Urban Development to track the progress of applications for official consent to use state owned land allocated to citizens and enterprises as collateral, and for issuance of construction permits. The file reviews were able to show that official assumptions about time and costs of the processes were incorrect, identify main bottlenecks and costs and serve as an analytical model for review of other administrative processes.
Tasks performed by NORC staff included: review and analysis of land market data and legal and regulatory framework for land markets, land allocation and registration of rights; in-depth interviews with government and private sector stakeholders; design and implementation of programs for administrative file review of government consents and issuance of construction permits; development of recommendations for ongoing technical assistance in land reform; organization and presentation of stakeholder events; development of recommendations for administrative reform; ongoing communications with key government counterparts and stakeholders.
A paper on some of the findings of the research was presented at the World Bank’s 2009 Conference on Land Governance in Support of the Millennium Development Goals in Washington, DC (Butler, S., "Improving Land Policy for Private Sector Development in Nigeria: Lessons and Challenges Ahead," paper presented at the World Bank Conference on Land Governance in Support of the Millennium Development Goals, Washington, DC, March, 2009).