Purpose: The land is a critical resource for public-private partnerships (PPPs) in infrastructure development. However, acquisition of land for PPP infrastructure projects implementation increasingly becomes problematic in developing countries. Yet, effort at investigating the factors causing a delay in land acquisition for PPP infrastructure projects through an empirical method in developing countries received scant attention. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify and critically assess the factors predisposing PPP projects implementation to land acquisition delay in Nigeria using an empirical approach. Design/methodology/approach: The study adopted literature review and questionnaire survey. For instance, literature review was used to identify the factors causing delay in land acquisition for PPP projects in developing countries, which was used to design the questionnaire survey culminating in data analysis. In order to capture a broad perception, the questionnaires were administered to three different primary stakeholder groups comprised public sector authorities (i.e. ministries, department, agencies), concessionaires, and lenders/banks involved in PPP projects implementation in Nigeria. Data collected were analysed using mean score, Kruskal-Wallis test, and factor analysis. Findings: The study revealed the mean score ranking of 22 identified factors causing a delay in land acquisition for PPP projects in Nigeria. The result of factor analysis grouped the 22 identified factors into 4 principal factors namely, resettlement issues with political interference; non-availability of land with a higher cost of land transactions; weak planning institutions; and rehabilitation issues with extensive legal delays. Practical implication: These study findings have implications for both policymakers considering PPP projects and private investors seeking to finance a PPP project in developing countries. Also, the study findings would be useful for the governments in Nigeria and other developing countries to formulate clear policies framework that facilitates the smooth acquisition of land for PPP projects. Originality/value: The study will be beneficial to the potential local and foreign private investors, and governments by broadening their awareness on impediments in land acquisition for PPP projects in Nigeria and developing countries at large. These study findings are crucial as not many empirical studies have been conducted in Nigeria, and many other developing countries.