Abuja’s Property Ownership Reforms: What You Need to Know 

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, is at the forefront of a significant shift in property ownership documentation. The central focus of these reforms is to improve the Certificate of Occupancy (“Certificates” or “C of O”) issuance process by introducing advanced security measures. Here is a look into the reform highlights that are set to redefine property transactions in Abuja:  

Key Highlights of Abuja’s Property Ownership Reforms: 

  • Inclusion of NIN and BVN for Enhanced Security: There is a requirement to include the National Identification Number (NIN) for individuals and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) for corporate entities within the C of O documentation. This measure aims to combat fraudulent transactions by ensuring that each property record is tied to a verifiable identity. 
  • Individualized Certificates for Estate Properties: Individual properties within mass housing estates will now receive their Certificates from the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), simplifying the process for homeowners to establish and prove their legal rights. This eliminates the previous complexities associated with a single or global C of O covering entire estates. 
  • Mandatory Recertification of Existing Certificates: To align with the new security standards, there is a mandatory recertification for existing Certificates of Occupancy. This process involves updating Certificates to include the owner’s NIN and BVN, ensuring that all land records are up-to-date and secure from fraudulent alterations. 
  • Dedicated Task Force for Swift C of O Issuance: The establishment of a task force to expedite the C of O issuance process across the FCT, enforcing land use regulations and heightening compliance to boost internal revenue. 

The Ripple Effects: What Property Owners Should Anticipate:  

  • Recertification Requirement: Property Owners are prompted to recertify their Certificates, a process that involves administrative procedures, time, and costs. 
  • NIN and BVN Prerequisites: Unregistered individuals and corporate entities will need to secure NIN and BVN respectively to align with the new documentation standards. 
  • Potential Processing Delays: The transition may lead to processing backlogs, temporarily affecting land-related transactions. 
  • A Push for Nationwide Compliance: This initiative could drive broader compliance with national identification systems, updating records and reinforcing policy adherence. 

Estate Planning in a Transforming Landscape: 

As Abuja ushers in these property sector reforms, the landscape of estate planning and management is set to evolve. These changes present an opportunity to ensure that property assets are protected, ownership is clearly identifiable and estate plans are built on a foundation of enhanced security and legality.  

Your Guide Through Evolving Regulations: 

Whether it is understanding the new requirements or ensuring compliance, SimmonsCooper Partners is here to help you adapt and secure your legacy. We are available to provide personalized guidance and support to navigate this new regulatory framework. For a comprehensive look at how these Abuja property reforms may influence your estate planning or for advice on ensuring compliance, reach out to our team at or visit our website at

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