From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti
The Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS) has said overcoming security challenges in Nigeria is possible if the federal government can embark on proper geospatial mapping of the country, hinting that the mapping currently working in the country was out of date because it was carried out in the mid-60s.
According to NIS, if the country is properly mapped, it will provide the country’s security architectures with the necessary information including seeing everywhere and what is involved, thereby helping security agencies to deal with insecurity comprehensively.
Surv Dr Kayode Oluwamotemi, the National President of the institution, made the call at the weekend, at a press conference marking the Institution’s 56th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Conference held at Obafemi Awolowo Civic Center, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, from July 25th to July 29th, 2022, with the theme: ‘Mapping Policies, Strategies and Spatial Infrastructure for Sustainable E-Governance in Nigeria.’
On how terrorism, banditry and other ills can be tackled in the country using the mapping system, the National President said, “The first thing for us to do to overcome this insecurity is proper mapping of the entire country. That is when you will be able to see everywhere and what is involved.
“You will see houses, huts and you will see when people are mobilising from the planning stage to cause havoc before the execution. For example, is Sambisa properly mapped to see each house or hut? Forget about the police and other security outfits. They are human beings and can work within the spirit of their strength and what is available.
“But with good mapping, we should be able to tackle this insecurity. We are ready to partake and make Nigeria secure and governable. The mapping we are referring to today was that of 1965 or 1966. A certain percentage, according to UN, must be earmarked yearly for mapping, but we don’t do this in Nigeria.”
In the communique, Oluwamotemi who called for thorough implementation of The Survey Coordination Act 1962, said: “There is poor awareness of the fundamental role of Surveying and Mapping in the realisation of e-governance in the public and private sectors.
“Governments and private sectors are encouraged to engage the services of relevant surveying practitioners in the discharge of crucial surveying and geospatial components of any natural
resource and infrastructure developments in Nigeria.
“The National and State Assemblies and other relevant legislative organs should formulate appropriate policies and strengthen the enforcement of laws guiding erection of the buildings and other infrastructures, to check the incessant cases of building collapse, to safeguard the loss of life and properties.”
On the activities of quacks as one of the challenges of the profession, the NIS president said though there is no profession in the country that does not have them(quacks), but what matters is whether you have the number of quacks you can control or you cannot control. “In Surveying, we have the number we can control because we have rules and regulations in place. Quacks carry out illegal activities, and if they do anything illegal, we have rules and regulations to punish them. Not that we don’t have quacks, but we have been able to reduce them to a large extent.”
Other challenges he identified include the lack of patronage of surveyors by the government, adding that the government prefers to hire foreign surveyors to neglect domestic ones, thereby at times downplaying professionalism. Lack of instruments/equipment for surveyors to monitor the buildings, tarmacs and highrise buildings.