Abuja the new capital of Nigeria came into existence by virtue of the Federal Capital Territory Act, of 1976. The Territory covers a total land area of approximately 8,000 square kilometers, while the City proper is to cover a total land area of 250 square kilometers. A Master Plan for the City and the Territory was designed by the International Planning Associates, (IPA) and accepted/approved by Government in 1979
Construction work started in the early 1980s, while the seat of the Federal Government finally shifted from Lagos to Abuja in 1991. Efficient control, administration and management of the entire FCT landmass became the key to successful implementation of the Abuja Master Plan and the orderly development of a “City-beautiful” envisaged by the Master Plan itself. This cannot be achieved successfully without a reliable and up to date cadastral and land records.
The Land Use Act of 1978 is the principal law guiding land acquisition, resettlement, and its allocation to all eligible Nigerians; Private, Government Organizations and None Governmental Organizations. It provides for the Government to hold land in trust for the use and common benefit of all Nigerians, for the realization of equity, fairness and justice in the control and management of land, resettlement and compensation purposes. This ideal cannot be achieved without adequate and efficient land administration tools. One of those tools of course is a reliable and up-to-date land records.
All the Land related departments of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) have been maintaining manual record keeping right from inception (about 29 years). This system is prone to a lot of problems such as, Multiple allocations of plots, Land Use Abuses, Encroachments, Inefficient system of Revenue Generation, Proliferation of Unplanned/Squatter Settlements, The use of obsolete Survey Equipment, Rampant subdivisions and redesign of plots and Extensions beyond the Federal Capital City Master Plan limits. This has been a serious limitation on good governance within the FCT.