Do you intend to Sponsor a Land Survey in Ibeju Lekki, Eti-Osa, Epe, Badagry, or Ikorodu? You will be well advised to read this.
Land Survey Sponsorship in Lagos is one of the most sought-after investment schemes many land speculators are engaged in because of the high returns based on the low amount of money to be invested and the high rewards expected but it's also the quickest way to lose your money and go bankrupt if you don’t understand the tricks employed to engage in Land Survey sponsorship.
A lot of agents glamourize land sponsorship and always are on the lookout to woo people to invest in land Survey sponsorship. You hear catchphrases such as “ Sponsor 500 hectares of land and get 50 acres in your name”. Who would hear of such a deal and would not immediately want to invest in such a scheme?
But behind those catchy phrases to lure people into Land Survey Sponsorship investment lies a dark secret that 80% of people who engage in it suffer badly and get their fingers burnt and due to shame or humiliation, they fail to let other people know that they have ventured into something that requires tact, experience, and truthfulness before they threw their money away needlessly due to a fake promise of instant riches through land survey sponsorship.
This is how Land Survey sponsorship works:
A community, village or town with a large expanse of land would tell a lot of people that they have a large number of undocumented lands that need to be documented by the government but due to the poor economic condition of the community, they would not be able to apply for the necessary permits and documentation needed to help document these lands properly.
With that, they are calling on well-meaning Nigerians who can help sponsor the process of getting these documents in exchange for some portions of free land as payment for their services since they do not have immediate cash to pay the sponsors.
They engage Agents to help broadcast this information virally and promise these agents plots of land too if they can get a sponsor. These Agents then go online to promise all sorts of things to an intending sponsor and once a sponsor shows interest, he is taken to the village to meet some village elders who would intimate the Sponsor about their plight and what they need the sponsor to do on their behalf.
There and then, they tell the Sponsor that they have over 100, 200 or 500 acres of land but they need someone who can help sponsor the survey plan to map out the whole area covering the 100 acres of land and in exchange, they would give the sponsor (1 plot of land for every 6 plots surveyed by the sponsor).
Immediately the Sponsor's head goes into overdrive and he does his mental mathematics to calculate how many plots of land he would be getting for free if he sponsors the survey of the land. He calculates that he might be going home with over 100 plots of land and if he keeps that land for like 5 years and sells each one for N1million Naira, he is an instant millionaire and if the place opens up unexpectedly, his path to rubbing shoulders with Dangote as a Billionaire is already assured.
The next thing he asks is, how much it would cost him to sponsor the survey plan of the area and they tell him it would cost between N20 Million to N30 million.
He now tells them that he is interested in sponsoring the survey plan for the village and he would be engaging his surveyor to come very soon to start work. The family tells him he is free to bring his surveyor but his surveyor must also work with the family surveyor and some elders in the village to promote accuracy. The Sponsor has no problem with that and engages his lawyer or the family lawyer to draw up the survey sponsorship agreement and everything is set.
I am sure the way I explained it, it looks so easy and straight forward and you would be wondering where are the issues I am referring to? Well buckle your seat belt, I am about to take you on a ride that it's more than meets the eye. I am about to take you into the wonderful world of Land Survey Sponsorship Scam.
As soon as the agreement is signed, the Sponsor would engage his surveyor to start work based on the original N30Million agreed by all parties but trust me, by the time the Sponsored Survey Process has reached almost halfway, that N30million is pepper soup money. The Sponsor is just scratching the surface.
First of all, the question you should have asked at the beginning of this article is, “How did the Villagers come about 100 or 200 acres of land when no one has measured it before?”. That 100 Acres of land is a hoax. The villagers are just presuming nonsense to hoodwink the Sponsor.
Problem number 1 Most of the time, their lands are not more than 40 to 60 acres legally. Most of the time they add the adjoining lands of other communities and villages and claim them as their own. Immediately the surveyor steps into the boundary of the other village, and the villagers of the next community would come out and stop your work.
This community dispute will wager on for a long time and since you are in the middle of it, you would have to expend money, time, and resources to sort this issue out. When you realize is a fruitless effort, you advise your Surveyor to change course and look for other lands in the village that are not contestable. Your 100 acres has already shrunk to 60 acres.
Problem number 2 occurs when the Surveyor is surveying the land and he notices that there are so many places that are inhabitable such as swamps, dangerous animals lurking around, and obstacles inside the forest that make it difficult for the Surveyor to navigate those areas. Those areas would have to be given up in your calculation due to the safety of the Surveyor. The 60 acres you were hoping to manage have now turned to 50 acres. Still not bad. At all at all na im bad pass!
Problem number 3. Now that your original N30 million budget has shot up beyond expectations, you are now very aggressive, annoyed, and upset that you have been lied to financially and you would want your Sponsorship agreement to be reviewed so that you can still get a large chunk of what was promised from the 50 acres. You have no idea that the main Kick in the teeth is coming.
Firstly the 50 acres surveyed do not belong to the Sponsor wholely. The family is going to take 70% of the lands surveyed because it's their family land. They did not tell the Sponsor to come to their village to sponsor their lands and run away with all their lands.
The survey plan done by the Sponsor now details and specifies all the boundaries of their land. It shows the Villagers the choice location of their lands. It gives them the full calculation of their total lands and now they can re-negotiate with the Sponsor in a different way because they now have something physical and tangible to work with you.
Gone are the pitiful and beggarly family members who were kissing your feet to help them sponsor the survey plan for their lands. You would be introduced to the tough, hardened, and troublesome family members who were waiting in the wings quietly till you have finished working for them. The 100 plots you were expecting are about to be divided stupidly for you now.
When the family members get hold of that survey plan you Sponsored for them, that’s when you will realize that you were not the only one that they engaged with and made deals with regarding these lands to sponsor different types of documentation on that land.
That’s when the Sponsor would hear that they have promised a Chief Ababiakao the same 1 plot out of 6 plots if he can help them sponsor the Excision of the lands and that Chief Ababiakao is currently sponsoring the gazette of these lands at the Lands Registry Alausa Ikeja based on the number of available plots of lands on the survey done by the Sponsor.
You would hear that the Villagers have also promised a certain Madam Olorioko the same 1 plot out of 6 plots if she can help them sand-fill the swampy areas in their village and she is also working with this same survey plan done by you the Sponsor.
The family members would also come out to say that based on this survey plan done and sponsored by you, they now know how they would share most of the lands that belong to the various individual families in the village and pick the choice ones before they start allocating lands to the various sponsors.
Meanwhile, at the back of your mind, you were thinking once you sponsor the survey and you have first-hand knowledge of the choice lands, especially along the express road or lagoon, you would be the first to choose but the way things are looking, that swampy area you ignored previously is likely going to be your best option.
Finally, the finishing move that you were not expecting is the Lagos State government. Once an area has been deemed to be excised, the Lagos state government would come to that site, work with the survey plan of the village sponsored by you, do their own official survey plan, and take their own 40% of the lands and tag is as a Government land, a Land under acquisition or a Committed Land that belongs to the government only. The rest belongs to the community.
Meanwhile, the Sly Surveyor that was employed to survey the area has also gone to the family at night to negotiate a deal where he too is entitled to some plots of land after the Survey Plan has been sponsored by you. The family would oblige him because, after the Sponsorship wahala, they would still employ the Surveyor to partition those lands secretly.
From an employee, he has become the greatest beneficiary of this Sponsorship scam. That’s why you see so many Surveyors hustling for Sponsorship work. They are the ultimate winners.
Anyways back to "Mr. I have sponsored the village survey plan". How many plots of land do you think would be left for him after the Village has taken 70% of the 50 acres surveyed, the government has taken 40% out of the 50 acres surveyed, Mr. Ababiakao sponsoring the Excision of the Village has taken his own 1 Plot out of 6 Plots, Madam Olorioko who is clearing or sand-filling the areas surveyed has taken her own 1 Plot out of 6 Plots and Mr. Sly Surveyor who surveyed the area?
If you are left with 20 to 30 plots after all this in an area that isn’t even desirable, please go to church and do thanksgiving. From the 150 plots you were dreaming of when you invested your first one Naira, you are now left with crumbs on the table. But the worst is yet to come.
Surveying an area is different from knowing what’s inside the forest that was surveyed. In your fit of anger, disappointment, and vexation that you have been duped and deceived, the Sponsor would now attempt to take possession of the land given to him grudgingly and when he attempts to fence it, he would now see inside the forest hidden signboards on the ground stating "This land belongs to Alhaji Bakare. Buyers beware! Trespassers would be prosecuted".
The sponsor might also see fences, marked boundaries, beacons etc showing that this Land belongs to someone else that purchased it many years ago. The family only used the Sponsor to know which lands were valid or not.
The surveyor may or may have not seen these signposts or fences when he was mapping out the boundaries but due to the deal he now has with the family to get his own free lands, he kept mute and feigned ignorance. Now you are in proper deep crap.
How did the promise and dream of 100 plots now lead to all these issues no one told the Sponsor about? The Sponsor goes back to the family and fighting ensues. Police are brought in, Cases are in court and at the end of the day, the Sponsor is forced to settle with a paltry amount of lands given to him in a particular undesirable area which he has to accept unless he won’t see anything and he regrets why he ventured into it in the first place.
This is what 75% of people who sponsor lands go through but they won’t tell you. I have seen plenty of these wayo sponsorship deals over the years and it never seems to amaze me how people continue to fall for this trick. Some of us who know the game, understand the solution. The next article I write would show how the successful 15% are beating this trap and cashing out on sponsorship deals.
Don’t be a Victim of land Sponsorship without knowing the tricks to survive in this messy business and throw away your hard-earned life savings. Be wise
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