A Baseline Assessment of Gender Distribution of Government Land Allocation and Private Titled Lands in Akure, Nigeria
There is strong evidence that most land transactions in Nigerian urban areas take place in the private or informal land market and remain untitled. Only a small percentage of land transactions take place through government allocation even though it ensures greater tenure security. This study examines gender distribution in the allocation of government lands in Akure, Nigeria and the rate of land title registration in the private land market using secondary data of land allocation and Certificate of Occupancy for a period of 10 years (2009-2018) from the Lands Department of the Ministry of Works, Land and Housing, Akure. Close-ended questionnaires were administered to the officials in charge of the records and the Director of the Department was interviewed. Primary data were analysed using weighted mean scores, while secondary data were analysed using ratio and difference measures, trend analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Findings show that the number of registered land titles in private land was lower than the number of government land allocations even though more transactions took place in the private land market. The time taken to process land title registration and lack of awareness were ranked highest among factors affecting land title registration. Although there were no gender specific requirements in the process of land allocation and title registration, stereotypes appear to play a role in land distribution decisions and title registration across the study area. A risk ratio of as high as three to one (males to females) in land allocation and 10 to one in land title registration was observed in some years. The paper recommends educating people, especially women, about the importance of land titling and accessing government land, which is far more secure than private land. Recommendations are also made towards a better land registration process in the study area.