Determinants of Informal Land Transactions on Land Market in Owerri Urban, Imo State, Nigeria

Stanislaus Anabaraonye Okeahialam, Joseph U. Ogbuefi


In Owerri, Imo State, just like other major towns in Nigeria, it has been observed that the government’s land administration technique currently in use (the Land Use Act of 1978) has not been able to meet the demand for urban land when and where needed for its population especially the low, the middle and even some high income earners. This has led to frustration and disappointments to majority of the urban dwellers thereby compelling those who are not able to access land from this formal system to look for an affordable alternative source of land acquisition for their use. This they find in the informal land market (private land market transactions). The situation has made informal land market become a much more patronized avenue of land acquisition by a large proportion of most urban dwellers in Imo State. The aim of this study therefore was to analyse the factors that push for informal land transactions on land market in Owerri urban, Nigeria. The study adopted the survey research. Stratified, systematic and simple random sampling techniques were used to elicit data from three classes of respondents. Six settlements were selected for the study through stratified random sampling method and three key sets of respondents were identified from the six settlements namely; the land owners, the land agents and the land administrators.  The study concentrated on communities in the high and medium residential density areas of Owerri urban. These were areas where informal land transactions thrive. Principal Component analysis was used to identify and classified four factors that caused the predominance of informal land acquisition in Owerri Urban. These four components accounted for 79.75% of the observed variability. The clustered factors are: promptness in processing, low cost in processing, land accessibility and acceptability of title documents. The policy implications of the study was include that the government should harmonize the land market for better land transactions and local land registration and information offices be established at the local government levels.

Keywords: Informal Land Markets, Formal Land Markets, Urban.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5790 ISSN (Online)2225-0514

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