WHAT IS AN ACRE?
Is it up to a standard plot of land? Hope it is exactly 60 by 120? It is a corner piece? These are typical questions Nigerians ask when buying a land. But in reality, most people who purchase land in Lagos and many parts of the country don’t really understand how to determine the exact size of land they are buying or are about to buy. As a potential buyer wishing to buy a land or build a new house it is important that you understand how the land that is being sold to you is measured. The first hurdle is to understand the system of land measurement in Nigeria. In Nigeria today, Land is measured in Hectares, Acres, Meters and Feet. These measurements are affected by factors, which include development pattern, human and environmental factors.
Let’s start by asking what is the size of a standard plot in Nigeria? According to the dictionary meaning of a plot, it is a marked out piece of land for the purpose of building or farming. The word ‘plot’ is an arbitrary term used to describe a land division carved out for property development. The size of a plot can vary for different reasons but according to Nigeria’s land division standards and which are widely accepted, the appropriate plot for a house construction is 50 *100ft which can accommodate a standard house with a small compound. To better understand land divisions used in Nigeria, different units of area are used as follows:
A hectare is one of the least known metric units and one which potential buyers and estate developers seem to struggle with when it comes to properly defining it. To be exact, a hectare is a land measuring: 100m * 100m or 328ft * 328ft or 10,000sqm or two and half acres or 15 plots. This type of measurement is mostly used when the land to be sold or bought is directly from land owning traditional families to estate developers who will eventually break the land into smaller sizes before being resold as serviced plots.
An acre is a standard unit of measurement used by land sellers and it is almost equivalent to the size a standard football field. An acre is a product of any rectangular plot of land giving a total of: 4,046sqm or 43,560sqft or 6plots (each measuring 60ft *120ft). It is the mostly commonly used type of land measurement when the land size is only averagely large. Like I have just pointed out, it is approximately six standards plots of land put together.
In Lagos state and many other parts of the country, the standard size of a plot is 60ft *120ft (18m *36m i.e. 648sqm). However, in some other cities of the country especially in the eastern parts of the country, plots are measured in 50ft *100ft. However, there are private estate developers who have different types of measurement standards for what is considered a plot. Some are usually smaller than 648sqm while some are larger. In this case, it is always important for the buyer to ask what the developer considers to be the size of a plot.