Property Lagos

Difference between C of And R of O

Difference Between C of O and R of O


The difference between “C of O” and “R of O” has been a confusing subject to many Nigerians. Interestingly, they are important in real estate field.


To begin with, we will highlight the major differences between these two terms and what they stand for.  


Certificate of Occupancy ( C of O)

A Certificate of Occupancy is a very important document that shows the true ownership and purpose of a land. Accordingly, the Lagos state government owns all the lands within the state.  Individuals and companies need to get a Certificate of Occupancy, provided they meet the listed requirements. So then, they will gain full permission to take over a land.

In addition, the issuance of the C of O in Lagos was used as a controlling measure against the increasing land fraud causing many individuals to claim ownership.



Right of Occupancy ( R of O)

As seen in sections 5 & 6 of the Land Use Decree of 1978, Right of Occupancy  is a customary right granted by the local government. It is the right of a person or community lawfully using land or occupying land in accordance with customary laws. Particularly, “R of O” is for agricultural, residential and for other purposes. 


Also Read: C of O in Lagos: Requirements & Cost



Difference Between C of O and R of O

“R of O” and “C of O” are very important documents for land/property ownership in Nigeria. Therefore, it is necessary for you to know what distinguishes them both.

The difference between C of O and R of O are listed below:




C of O: The Land Use Act of 1978 unified the land tenure system in Nigeria and empowers by virtue of Section 9(1) the Governor of every state in Nigeria (the Minister of FCT for Abuja) to issue a Certificate of Occupancy under his hand in evidence of a right of occupancy.  Hence, it is important to state that only the serving/incumbent State Governor can issue this certificate having acted in line with Sections 5, 9 and 10 of the Land Use Act of 1978, which confers the power and dominion of state land into the hands of the State governor.


R of O: The right of occupancy is usually granted by a Local Government Authority as defined as a customary right of occupancy. The definition is in Section 6 of the land use Act, a customary right of occupancy includes the right of a person or community lawfully using or occupying land in accordance with customary law.



C of O: The C of O is a superior title and more secured.  It is usually compensated for when revoked.

R of O: The R of O is a weaker title to land and can be revoked without compensation.


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The difference between C of O and R and O is quite distinct and  obvious. Hence, it is important to acquire the Certificate of Occupancy in order to avoid land ownership issues in the nearest future.


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