Land Sizes In Nigeria — Plots, Acres, Hectares & Square Meters Explained

What is the size of a plot of land? What is that in square metres? How does a plot compare with an acre or a hectare? These are questions often asked by Nigerian real estate buyers and sellers: to which you get a variety of different answers depending on who you ask.

Various terms are currently in use across Nigeria to denote or measure the size of land or property. It is important that you are aware of such terms in order to make better informed decisions and get the best properties at the best prices.

In Abuja and Lagos, square meters are usually used in official land documents: but sellers and agents often use other terms such as plots, acres, hectares and square feet. These units of measurement can be converted to one another. This article will help you do just that, as well as answer some common land size related questions.

What is a plot of land?

It is vital that you understand that when it comes to a plot of land – there is no standard size.

A plot is simply an arbitrary term used to describe any piece of land. A plot can be used for multiple purposes including building a home or farming. When looking to buy land, the first question you should be asking a developer or an agent is “what is the size of the plot”?

The size of a plot can be measured using a variety of different units such as acres, hectares, square feet or square metres. These units fall under two international standards of measurement: Imperial (feet, acres) and metric (meters, hectares).

Acres and hectares are bigger measurement units mostly used for larger areas of land like forests and farmland. Feet and meters are used to describe smaller plots of land, for example in cities, where you may want to build a family house.

In Nigeria a plot usually refers to smaller parcels of land. As Nigeria primarily uses the metric system of measurements, these plots of land are usually described in square meters. Accordingly, official land documents are also sized in square meters. You should always ask any land vendor what the size of a plot of land is in square meters.


Common land measurement units used in Nigeria

Meter (m)

A meter is a basic unit of length used in the metric system. It is equivalent to 100 centimeters or 39.37 inches.

Foot (ft)

The foot, plural feet, is another unit for measuring length. It is used in the imperial system of measurement. It is equal to 30.48 centimeters or 12 inches.

Square meters (sqm)

The square metre is a fundamental metric unit of area. A square meter is simply the area of a square which has sides that measure 1 meter in length. It has a symbol m². It is used for measuring areas of anything from rooms to houses to land.

Square foot (sq ft)

The square foot, plural square feet, is an imperial unit of area. 1 square foot is defined as the area of a square which has sides that measure 1 foot in length.


An acre is another unit of area commonly used in Nigeria for measuring large expanses of land. 1 acre is equivalent to 4046.86 sqm. An acre is approximately 40% of a hectare and is roughly the size of a standard football field.


A hectare is a unit of measurement typically used for large tracts of land: for example, vast agricultural land. 1 hectare is equivalent to 100 m x 100 m or 10,000 sqm. A hectare can also be represented as 2.47 acres.


Final thoughts

For those looking to invest in residential or commercial real estate, having some knowledge of the system of land measurements in Nigeria is important. This will allow you to make the best investment decisions.

Although a relatively simple concept, things can get complicated: especially when it comes to irregular plots of land. Consequently, it is important to seek the guidance of competent real estate professionals to include agents, surveyors and architects — when buying land and/or developing a property.


Credit: Villa Afrika (Feb, 2020)

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