International Journal of Tropical Agriculture and Food Systems

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Land Use Act and Rural Poverty Reduction in Nigeria

FN Nnadi, J Chikaire, RN Nwakwasi, NO Anyoha


In Africa, land is wealth, power and prestige. It is in fact life as it adds to the status and well-being of the people. Those without land are not reckoned, and for this, all want to lay claims to it. In an attempt to lay claim to it, conflicts have become everything among users of this economic factor of production. To stem the tide, the Federal Government of Nigeria came up with the Land Use Act to regulate use and interest in land. It was thought that with government take over of land property; it would become readily available to various users without hitches. The Land Use Act has however created a lot of problems for the populace. Because of corruption and bottleneck, the Land Use Act no longer serves the purpose it was promulgated. Land is now vested in the hands of very rich and influential individuals in the society and the poor farmers have no access to it. Land, which would have been allocated to real farmers, is now a commodity for the elites. The poor farmers no longer have enough land to cultivate, although they produce the bulk of food consumed and marketed in Nigeria. It is therefore recommended that the Act be repealed and government’s interventions on land matters be primarily for the purpose of making land available to every Nigerian, especially the poor.

Keywords: Land use act, poverty reduction, land tenure, Nigeria 

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