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If you reside in Lagos state or around the Southern axis of Nigeria, you would most likely be familiar with the concept of the “Omonile’s” as they have been tied to the concept of land-ownership in the South for a decent couple of years now.

The Omonile’s have over the years been a constant source of headache for most of the land investors, land-owners and home-seekers in Lagos, often demanding ridiculous amounts of money from people who simply wants to purchase land or other properties in the areas.

The Omonile’s which is a Yoruba word loosely translated as “the children of the land-owners” refers to a tradition whereby people who buy land from these omonile’s would be subjected to ridiculous ‘signing fees’ which often culminates in a huge amount of money usually labelled as developmental fees and other miscellaneous billings that could sometimes ring to the tunes of millions of Naira. The Omonile’s would often ensure these payments are made before the deed of assignment is signed, often using different billing strategies to milk their client’s pockets financially.

When purchasing a house from an Omonile and not from a real-estate agency, there are likely to be issues such as land disputes, family disputes involved with the land in question while also having to put up with strange bills including Roofing bills, Foundation bills, Omonile signing fee, drainage fee, and NEPA fee. Even when all the specified charges and fees have been paid, it is always still advised to build a fence around your property to ward off thugs and miscreants from trespassing on your property and most commonly, reselling your property.

It is also advised to put a fence around the property, it is necessary to keep checking up on the land, most probably even employing a guard to keep a vigilant eye on your landed property to stifle any chances of being scammed as it is generally stated that anyone who wants to buy land from an Omonile must be ready to slug it out with them if need be.

Some steps that would really help when dealing with an Omonile will include:

  1. Do a check on the family or community that owns the property you intend to purchase – A rule of thumb when dealing with Omoniles is being vigilant, and one of the very first things you might want to do is to do a proper check-up on the land and find out the original owners of the property, as this will let you know what to expect during the proceedings of trying to seal a deal, as certain families are known for their notorious ways of handling land ownership deals. Knowing about this in advance will save you a lot of sweat in the long run.
  2. Avoid looking desperate – One of the things to avoid during a deal with an Omonile is looking desperate as this will furthermore energize them to exploit you, so it is necessary to be in charge of the proceeding, show them that you are interested in making a purchase, and you are only interested in knowing the total cost of the property while clearly letting them know you have other options.
  3. Show them some evidence of financial capability – You might want to photocopy a cheque or bank-draft for the fee required to conclude the transaction. This will show them that you have the money required by them and thereby place you in a position of power while negotiating a deal, and if you are calm, even if they were adamant in the first place, after a few days of not hearing from you, they might start hitting your phone with calls, and they might just tone down the huge sum of money.
  4. Always refer them to your Lawyer – It is a fact that Omonile’s are scared of lawyers and in this case, anytime an Omonile makes a ridiculous demand from you or asks for a strange fee, one way of getting over this is by referring them to your Lawyer, this will curb quite a lot of their excesses.
  5. Shelve the foundation fee – You can temporarily shelve the Foundation fee by telling them that you would not be paying the Foundation fee until you are ready to start building.

On the other hand, buying lands from real estate companies like Victoria crest homes are more relaxing, and less costly as you do not have to deal with the crunch of having to dance to the tune of the music your Omonile plays at irregular intervals.

Nedcomoaks offers houses for sale in Lekki and the Lagos axis.

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