Land Deals and Sustainable Income: The Case of a Rural Community in Ogun State, Nigeria

Land Deals and Sustainable Income: The Case of a Rural Community in Ogun State, Nigeria

Felicia O. Olokoyo (Covenant University, Nigeria), Tayo O. George (Covenant University, Nigeria), Uchenna R. Efobi (Covenant University, Nigeria) and Ibukun Beecroft (Covenant University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7405-9.ch016
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This chapter examines the extent to which land deals affect the sustainable income of households in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. Particular interest is paid to the interplay between land deals and other covariates like education, age, and other incomes aside land deals. A survey consisting of about 500 Ota indigenes is analyzed using logistic regression, which is complemented by other descriptive statistics. The results reveal that land deals have not sufficiently and positively affected the income of the individuals. On sustainability of income, land deals act in direct opposition with the other covariates. This implies that when land deals significantly affect sustainable income the other variables act otherwise. The implication from this is that land deals are not a sustainable source of income for indigenes in the study area. This is particularly because its inclusion in the model has an adverse effect on the other covariates.
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Issues on the consequences of land deals and income sustainability of affected individuals have received considerable attention in recent times, especially in African countries. Most of the researches are concerned with the economic implication of these land deals on landowners and the community as a whole (Doss, Meinzen-Dick & Bomuhangi, 2014; Osabuohien, 2014). Land as an economic asset, is expected to contribute to poverty reduction at both the micro and macroeconomic level. This is because of the activities that land fosters, such as agricultural activities, buildings to rent out, and sale. These activities are expected to translate to a consistent flow of income which will improve the welfare of the individuals/households.

Evidences exist that expose the contrary outcomes from land deals. For instance, Liversage (2010) found that foreign land acquisitions pose potential threats to the land rights and livelihoods of smallholder farmers, pastoralists, indigenous communities and other vulnerable groups. Nolte (2014) also realized that land deals have negative consequences on affected communities, especially the socio-economic development of the community. Strikingly, many of the deals that have raised alarming interest have been initiated by foreigners and are domiciled in African countries. For instance, 60% of global foreign land deals (FLDs) are targeted at African countries (Bruntrup, 2011; Deininger et al, 2011). Anseeuw et al (2012) specifically noted that from the 56.6 million hectares (ha) of land deals, 56.2 million ha are in Africa.

Prior to the country’s independence in 1960, variations in land deals and transactions existed across the various geo-political zones in Nigeria. This came about as a result of different cultural, religious, economic, political and social differences on land matters. Additionally, the variations in government arrangements and land policy were evident in the way and manner ‘land owning families’ and traditional rulers handled land deals from their respective domains. Since then, there have been re-occurrences of land deals in Nigeria. Markedly, the southern region of the country has recorded over a 100,000 ha of land deals, making the country among the 16 African countries where land deals have been reported, (Anseeuw et al, 2012; Osabuohien, 2014). This size is marginal compared to other African countries like Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan, which witnessed millions of ha of land deals. However, the land deals in Nigeria cannot be neglected because of the relevance of this country to the African developmental trajectory. This implies that findings from this country, with regards to developmental issues, can be suitable for policy replication in other African countries. This was well elucidated in Asiedu (2006), where she highlighted the relevance of research findings of African countries that become insightful for policy action in other African countries.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Sustainable Income: This represents an increase in the individual’s aggregate income.

Rural Community: An aggregation of dwellers with commonalities residing together in a non-urban location.

Poverty: People in the lower income cadre earning less than a dollar per day.

Agriculture: Any farm-based activity, including: cultivation, animal-husbandry and forestry.

Land Deals: Land deal defines the process through which land is acquired by investors and delivered by the land owners. The acquirer and the land owners are the market land actors. This process can either be formal or informal.

Omo-Onile: Colloquial representation for children of the land owners, comprising mainly of males in the active age bracket.

Foreign Land Acquisition: Procurement of domestic land by foreigners or foreign organizations.

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