The Land Use Act of 1978: Proscription of Discrimination Against Fellow Nigerians
Having vested the ownership and control of land in the state by section 1, the Land Use Act of 1978 ensures that such land so vested are held in trust for the use and common benefit of all Nigerians. In view of the above provisions, the Land Use Act of the 1978 unlike the existing Land Tenure Law of 1962 facilitated the living together of Nigerians by properly regarding them as ‘Nigerians’ and not ‘natives’. The Act did not start a new brand of apartheid by taking the land of one Nigerian and granting it to another Nigerian without any good reason. However, there are still discriminatory practices indulged in the application of the Act that have resulted in indigene-settler conflicts. This paper examines the Land Use Act of 1978 to see the extent to which it has enhanced the administration of land in Nigeria. In this connection, reforms and innovations introduced by the Act to improve the administration of land are examined. Bearing in mind that every being has its scar, the Act is not without shortcomings. Therefore, this study further beams its search lights in figuring out the inherent problems of the Act and makes recommendations on how to improve the Act.
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