Towards Global Uniformity and Sustainable Compensation Valuation for Compulsory Land Acquisition

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Olusegun Olaopin Olanrele
Anuar Alias
Rosli Said
Nurudeen Akinsola Bello


Compulsory land purchase is a tool for the control of land uses as well as land acquisition for developmental projects by the public authorities (governments). The right of government to compulsorily acquire land for its physical project is domicile in relevant laws of different countries and the laws usually provide for compensation often in money terms to the land/property owners whose land were confiscated. This study focuses on the examination of the compensation process of some countries across the continent in a search for a global standard for uniformity. The paper adopted a content analysis of the provisions of compulsory land purchase laws of selected countries and literature review of some papers on compensation for compulsory land acquisition from different countries. It was found that there is no definition of adequate compensation in any of the public land acquisition law. Though, nomenclatures like Just, Fair, Equity and Equivalence appears in most statutes, the lack of globally acceptable definition of adequate compensation has resulted in the adoption of different basis for market value by valuers/appraisers for compensation. Some laws, like Nigeria Land Use Act of 1978, stipulate the methodology and identify what improvement qualifies for compensation. The study further revealed that Nigeria authorities always rely on government valuers’ estimate of compensation amount. The study recommend for a global standardised definition of adequate compensation and methodology for assessment of compensation similar to international financial reporting standard (IFRS) and international valuation standard (RICS Red Book) for other valuations. Such standard will be expected to be incorporated in the statutes on land purchase and compensation to create a global uniformity and sustainable valuation of compensation for land acquisition.


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