What’s The Difference Between C of O and R of O?

The C of O and the R of  O are important documents regarding land or property purchase. But they confuse a lot of Nigerians sometimes. Most people mistake the C of O for the R of O, while some think they are the same. 

The question becomes: are they the same thing? No. They are quite different from each other. Do you want to know what differentiates the C of O from the R of O? Here is all you need to know about them.

Difference Between C of O and R of O

These two documents are very important in real estate, and if you don’t want to keep mixing up what they both mean, here’s all you need to know about them:

  • The Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is an important document that shows you are the true owner of a piece of land or property. The state government in all the states in Nigeria owns all the lands. Getting a C of O shows that you meet the requirement to gain full permission to own the land or property. Also, the C of O is used as a legal document to control land fraud, causing others to claim ownership of other people’s lands or property.
  • The Right of Occupancy is an important document granted by the local government of any state in Nigeria. It gives a person or a community the right to occupy land in accordance with the local government’s customary law.
  • Only the state governor of a state can issue the C of O as stipulated in line with Sections 5, 9, and 10 of the Land Use Act of 1978 in Nigeria.
  • The R of O is usually granted by the local government authority as a customary right of occupancy. It is stipulated in Section 6 of the Nigerian Land Use Act.

Which Is More Superior: C of O or R of O?

While both are important documents in acquiring land or property in Nigeria, one has more weight than the other.

The C of O is superior in the title and more secure. The government will compensate you with money when they take back the land from you (if need be).

The R of O is weaker in the title, and there is no compensation given to you if the government needs the land and collects it from you.

Do I Need A C of O or an R of O?

It depends on what your purpose for the land or property is. If you need land just for farming or using it for a project over a duration of time, the R of O is what you need. But, if you want full ownership of land or property, the C of O is what you need to get.


Both the C of O and R of O are very important documents to get if you want to acquire land in Nigeria today. But, their differences are clear based on their function, who signs the documents, and their associated benefits. 

1 thought on “What’s The Difference Between C of O and R of O?”

  1. Pingback: What is The Difference Between A Certificate Of Occupancy (C of O) And A Deed Of Assignment In Nigeria? - RealEstateNaija.com

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