Acta Universitatis Danubius. Juridica, Vol 13, No 1 (2017)

Revisiting Conveyancing risks under the Legal Regime for Land Registration in Nigeria: A Case for Title Insurance

AKAAYAR Simon Viashima


This research investigates the conveyancing risks which cannot be cured under the present legal regime for land registration in Nigeria. Two fundamental issues motivated this study. The first is that, in Nigeria, registration of title to land is mandatory and meant to assure certainty of registered title amongst other reasons. However, it is settled law that registration of title per se does not cure any defect in the title or confer validity which it does not possess. This phenomenon not only exposed registered title holders to hidden conveyancing risks, but also threatened the effectiveness and public trust in registration of title regime. The second problem is the lack of appropriate risk control measures that are specifically designed for registered title holders in country. Consequently, this paper evaluates the existing conveyancing risks in the particular context of the extant rules on land registration. Although the paper commends legal efforts aim at strengthening land registration in Nigeria, it demonstrates that there is enormity of conveyaning perils which largely defeats the benefits of registering title to land. In that regard, the study proposes the establishment of title insurance as new commercial model that will be tailored for conveyancing risks control in the country. It concludes that since insurance regulation is the exclusive preserve of the Federal government, the National Insurance Commission should pioneer the reform suggested in this paper by invoking section 101 of the Insurance Act 2003.  


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