Excision in Progress: All You Need to Know, Risks and Advantages


Recently, a lot of real estate firms, developers and agents have been promoting lands with ‘excision in progress‘ or ‘excision in process‘ and tagging same as a land title.

And some investors looking to invest in real estate, especially in Ibeju Lekki axis, have been calling me up concerning this, asking what an ‘excision in progress’ means and some asking if it is a good idea buying a land awaiting excision approval.

Well, in this awesome piece today, I will be explaining what ‘excision in progress’ really means and some facts you need to know before buying your next land tagged with ‘excision in progress’.

To be able to digest the real meaning of this term, we first need to understand what an excision really means.

What is Excision?

There is no way to explain the term ‘excision’ without quoting this popular property law.

The Land Use Act of 1979 stipulates that every portion of land belongs to the government.

Though this law made it clear that all land belongs to the government, it still recognizes ancestral ownership of land, fortunately.

This is where the word ‘excision’ comes in.

Excision means taking a part from a whole and that part that has been taken will be recorded and documented in the official government gazette of that state, making such portion of land legally free from government acquisition.

Then the next big question is…

What is Excision in Progress?

Before a land can be released back to the indigenous communities, it needs to be excised.

Hence, ‘excision in progress’ or ‘excision in process’ is the process of getting a land under government acquisition released back to the indigenous owners or villagers.

So What Are the Risks in Buying a Land Awaiting Excision?

Now that we are all aware that an ‘excision in progress’ land means the communities of the particular land is processing its release from the government, we need to know the risks and advantage of buying this kind of land.

The points below are all you need to know about lands tagged ‘excision in progress’. Then you will be able to make an informed decision on your real estate investment journey.

Point #1: Excision in Progress is Not a Land Title

First and foremost, you should know that the term ‘Excision in Progress’ or ‘Excision in Process’ is not a legal land title.

I have seen a lot of real estate companies and developers tagging ‘excision in progress’ as a title of their land, but this is incorrect. ‘Excision in progress’ is not a valid land title.

Point #2: Building Not Allowed on ‘Excision in Progress’ Land

As you already know, acquired land belongs to the government. Building or erecting a structure on it is not allowed because it can be demolished by the government at any given time.

Point #3: Excision Approval is 50-50 Chance

Though the land may not be committed, government may or may not approve the excision application. The reason is best known to the government.

The next question is, what then happens to buyers of this land?

Well, the answer lies with the real estate company. Trusted real estate companies will relocate her previous subscribers to another land that they own.

But if you had invested in a land owned by an untrusted real estate company, then you might have lost your hard-earned money and your land.

Point #4: Total Area Applied For May Not Be Approved

Government does not always approve excision application on the whole area of land submitted and the reason is best known to the government.

What I mean is, if the indigenous owners of the land applied for 20 hectares to be excised, government may approve only 15 hectares of the said land.

This means the companies that bought this said land will lose the remaining 5 hectares, thus, the investors that bought them.

Although, some trustworthy real estate companies always give their subscribers an indemnity clause.

This means, in case the excision application wasn’t approved, they (the real estate companies) will relocate all subscribers of the land to another land within the portfolio of the company.

This clause is always written in the Contract of Sales that would be given to you after paying for the land. So always look out for companies with this indemnity clause.

Most real estate companies will not want to tell you this but it is the truth.

Point #5: Government Do Not Give Red Copy Survey for ‘Excision in Progress’ Land

I have seen some adverts promoting Ibeju Lekki properties that are awaiting excision approval claiming the land has a Red Copy Survey.

The truth is land awaiting excision cannot be given a red copy survey from the Surveyor General’s office because the land does not have a valid land title.

With all these points made…

What then is the Advantage of Buying an ‘Excision in Progress’ Land?

Cheap price and huge capital appreciation after approval are the reasons people are buying lands awaiting excision!

Land awaiting excision approval are very cheap as compare to land with title. That is the simple answer.

I need to point out the risk involved in buying land awaiting excision so that you know what you are into before buying. But all in all, it is a very profitable real estate investment venture.

Take for instance, a land with a tag ‘excision in progress’ in the Ibeju Lekki axis of Lagos sells between N600,000 to N1m as at the time of writing this article. As a real estate investor who wants to take chances (probably after been assured by the company’s indemnity clause) perhaps bought a plot of this land. By the time the excision application is approved, the same land will not sell less than N2.5m.

And this is the major reason many investors are buying land awaiting excision – high capital appreciation!

Should I Buy an ‘Excision in Progress’ Land or Not?

I receive this question like a million time daily after explaining what ‘excision in progress’ means to my clients.

Well, you’ve read it all. You’ve learnt the risk involved in buying land awaiting excision approval and you’ve read how profitable buying this type of land is. So the decision is left for you to make.

In my opinion, buying lands awaiting excision isn’t a bad investment move only if;

  1. you’re dealing with a trusted real estate company
  2. the company gives indemnity clause
  3. you are buying for (long-term) investment purpose and most importantly
  4. if you can take the risk.

With this eye-opening article, I believe all your questions on what an excision in progress land means has been answered rightly. So, whether to buy ‘excision in progress’ land or not depends on you.

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    Oyedepo John is the MD/CEO of Landicon Realtors Ltd. He gives professional real estate advice and helps smart investors make profitable real estate investments for high ROI, thereby creating wealthy landlords.