Dungeons and Documents
Between 2004-2005, Lagos State Government of Nigeria implemented an upgrade and automation project at the Lagos State Land Registry. Through this initiative we were able to scan and archive 20 million pages of land documents including certificates of occupancy, survey maps and other land title documents. These documents were stored in a searchable and interlinked database. We also implemented Livelink, an enterprise workflow automation software.
For decades, the Land Registry had accumulated millions of land documents which were dumped in a dark, damp and insecure strong room in the basement of the Lagos State Lands Bureau.
These documents were sometimes stolen and forged for fraudulent land transactions. It often took weeks of searching through the dusty shelves to find specific documents in response to search requests from lawyers and estate surveyors.
A Fresh Start
Our initial goal was to clean up the strong room and upgrade the physical infrastructure of the strong room and the entire Land Registry. This was to be followed by creation of a secure database to preserve and derive maximum value from all land assets statewide. We did this by scanning existing land documents and maps and storing them in Livelink, an electronic document management system (EDMS) developed by Opentext Corporation.
During this period we also restructured the Land Information Systems Support Unit (LISSU) with training, hardware and software upgrades, local area network installation and workflow restructuring.
This upgrade enabled LISSU to undertake the digitizations of government scheme layouts for 114 state government residential and industrial schemes.
- Renovation of strong room
- Upgrading of security and fire hazard prevention
- Isolation of Land Registry from human traffic
- Inventory and arrangement of documents
- Installation of servers, computer units, scanners and accessories
- Installation of secure and isolated Local Area Network (LAN)
- Scanning of approximately 3.5 million pages of documents into Livelink-EDMS
- Commissioning of search room
Document Management is a critical solution for any modern enterprise. Creation, storage and processing of legal documents is particularly important to any federal, state or local government.
We partnered effectively with Officetron and Opentext Corporation to establish a long term Public-Private Partnership structure for sustainability. We also established a partnership with UK Land Registry through the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) for training, technology transfer and to share experiences.
The Lagos Land Registry EDMS has gone on to become a reference point for other land registries in Nigeria. Staff of the Lagos Land Registry are frequently invited to give talks in other states.