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Lagos launches E-Registry

4 November 2004

The Lagos State Government is busy launching a landmark electronic device for accessing land titles in an attempt to end the current difficulties in accessing the authenticity of titles. These difficulties include: an environment for the perpetuation of fraud on some of the title documents; a slow, inefficient and porous system; an inability to meet the demands of prospective land owners, and an inefficient administrative process which causes long queues.

With the implementation of the land computerisation programme in the registry - "Electronic Document Management Concept (EDMC)", - all the title documents stored in the Registry (which is the official custodian) will now be keyed into a database. Physical contact with the files will become unnecessary and it will be possible for searches to be conducted over the Internet by members of the public, estate agents and lawyers on the 3.5 million documents. This new system should be less time-consuming, more efficient and less stressful. Most importantly, it protects the title documents from being tampered with.

Interestingly the introduction of the new system was met with resistance from most of the staff at the Registry as they have gained from loopholes created by the existing manual system. When the project eventually takes off, the advantages will be enormous, for example some people currently have land but don't know the value of it, nor do they realise that with a perfect title they can use it as collateral for loans.

Article on allafrica.com

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