How to Measure Acres, Hectares, and Square Meters in Nigeria

What is the size of a typical plot of land? How many square metres is that? What is the difference between a plot and an acre or hectare? Buyers and sellers of real estate in Nigeria often ask these questions: The answers vary according to who you ask.
Various terms are currently in use across Nigeria to denote or measure the size of land or property. You must be aware of such terms, to make better-informed decisions and get the best properties at the best prices.

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

What is a plot of land?

You must 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, acre) 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. The size of a plot of land in square meters should always be inquired of any land vendor.

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 centimetres 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 centimetres 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 that 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 that has sides that measure 1 foot in length.
Acre
There is a unit of land measurement called an acre in Nigeria that is commonly used to measure 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.
Hectare
Hectars measure large areas, such as vast expanses of 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.

Answers to frequently asked questions about land measurements.

What is the average size of a plot of land in Nigeria?

Although there is no standard definition, the typical plot of land in Nigeria stands at around 100 ft x 100 ft = 30 m x 30 m = 10,000 square feet = 900 square meters. In this case, a half plot can be considered to be 50 ft x 100 ft = 15 m x 30 m = 5000 square feet = 450 square meters.
Depending on the states in question, there can be variations to the sizes of a plot: 18 m x 30 m (540 sqm) and 18 m x 36 m (648 sqm; Lagos) are also common plot sizes. This is why you must always request sizes in square meters, for such things as ease of comparison.

How many plots of land make an acre?

As stated above, an acre is the same as 4046.86 square meters. If you take a plot of land to be 900 square meters. Then 1 acre contains 4.5 plots (4046.86/900).

How many plots of land make a hectare?

With a plot defined as 900 sqm, a hectare is made up of 10,000 square meters – 1 hectare is equivalent to 11.1 plots (10,000/900).

How do you measure the size of a plot of land?

When buying or selling land, it is important to know its size. The size can be got from the survey plan. However, it is recommended that you engage the services of a professional surveyor to go out and physically measure the land in the field: before you buy (or sell).

Finally, if you are looking to invest in residential or commercial real estate, you must understand Nigerian land measuring systems. This will allow you to make the best investment decisions.