Penultimate week, the Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (OSGoF) organized a Two-Day Bi-Annual Conference for its Zonal Directors and Chief Resident Surveyors on “Integration of Geo-spatial Information: Fundamental Input in National Security and Infrastructural Development”. Ochiaka Ugwu was there for Peoples Daily
There is no doubt that geospatial technologies provide vital input for the management and analysis of large volumes of data which allows for better understanding of environmental processes and better management of human activities that lead to environmental quality and economic vitality.
Again, most human activity depends on geospatial information: knowing where things are and how they relate to one another and it supports a wide range of business, government and community activities like helping emergency forces locate addresses and other important information so they can quickly respond. It was based on this that OSGoF under the headship of Surveyor Taiwo S. Adeniran put together this conference in Abuja.
Speaking during the two day event that was heavily attended by stakeholders, Adeniran unequivocally stated that it has been realized that the objectives of the ongoing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would not be realized if Geo-Spatial Information is not integrated with other sectors to give Evidence Based Decision Support System (EBDSS).
“It has been realized that the objectives of the ongoing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would not be realized if Geo-Spatial information is not integrated with other sectors to give Evidence Based Decision Support System (EBDSS) The fact remains that no country in the world can develop without Geo-Spatial Information; developed economies of the world today are all knowledge-based.
The Acting Surveyor General of the Federation in his keynote address during the opening ceremony noted that the conference was apt and praised President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment and efforts towards addressing the current challenges the nation is facing.
He informed that the objective of the conference was to brainstorm and think outside the box, not only on how to improve on their responsibilities as surveyors but also to proffer ways that will help the Government meet the demands of its people.
Adeniran noted that the duty of every responsible organization of Government such as OSGoF was to appropriate projects and programmes of action that will help the Government achieve its various activities that informed its agenda to better the live of the masses of this country.
“The objective of the conference is to brainstorm and think outside the box, not only on how to improve on our responsibilities as surveyors but also to proffer ways that will help the Government meets the demands of its people.
“It is indeed, the duty of every responsible organization of the Government such as ours to appropriate projects and programmes of action that will help the Government achieve its various activities that informed its agenda to better the lives of the masses of this country”.
He informed that OSGoF is essential and fundamental to the advancement of every sector of the economy, saying there is need to abreast themselves with the activities of the Government, especially its areas of focus in order to remain relevant.
“OSGoF is essential and fundamental to the advancement of every sector of the economy, we must therefore abreast ourselves with the activities of the Government, especially its areas of focus in order to remain relevant.
“As we are aware, the present Government of President Muhammadu Buhari has nine (9) priority areas which are as follows: Stabilize the macro economy; Increase Agricultural Productivity, and Food Security; Ensure Energy Sufficiency; Improved Transportation and other infrastructure; Drive industrialization; Improved Health, Education and Productivity of Nigerians; Enhance Social Inclusion by Scaling up Social Investments; Fight Corruption and Improve Governance; and Provide Security for all Citizens”.
He said the government is committed to boosting security of lives and property, providing job opportunities for the masses, particularly the teeming youths; war against corruption in order to instill the spirit of honesty and patriotism in the citizenry, economic recovery, growth and development to ensure positive national reconstruction and sustainable development.
“While inaugurating the National Economic Recovery Advisory Council, the president reiterated the need for the council to generate primary data that will inform the formulation of reliable policies for feasible implementation and execution for even development of the Nigerian Economy”.
“I therefore, commend Mr. President for his foresight and commitment towards formulating policies based on reliable data, information and knowledge”.
“The general Parlance is information is power, though arguably, OSGoF remains the spatial information hub of the country. OSGoF is capable of providing government accurate and reliable information that will meet the needs of every sector of the economy whether it is for defence and security, agriculture, mining, the downstream sector, construction of buildings or roads, and water among others.
“This was what necessitated this conference and it is apt, and we must together work creatively to remain at the top of our duties, in meeting the demands of the Government and the people of Nigeria. We must together work to evolve an Integrated Geo-spatial Information Framework that will facilitate Evidence Based Support System for the good of the country.
“In order to align the office to address the nine (9) Priority areas of Government, the following are the office priorities: Renovation of National Geodetic Network, Completion of OSGoF Data Centre, Establishment of national geographic Information System (NGIS), Preparation of Action plans for integrated Geospatial Information frame work, Production of National Large Scale cadastral Township mapping, Preparation of National Mapping policy, Review of survey Coordination Act of 1962 and all its amendments.
“I am aware that some topics have been selected for this conference, I urge you to give your attention and ensure full participation so as to get the best out of the conference. Thank you for your attention” Adeniran concluded.
Also speaking, the Acting Director, Special Duties Surveys, Surveyor Muhammad, Ahmad Ajingi in a welcome address, said that OSGoF is not unaware of various challenges staff are facing in their zones and field offices as shown in the quarterly report and from physical visitations.
He assured that Acting SGoF is doing all within the budgetary provisions and releases to technically and generally give the Zonal Headquarters and field offices face-lift.
“The Ag. SGoF Sir, permit me to appreciate you particularly for encouraging the organization of this conference at this time of the year. I am also thankful to the Zonal Directors and CRS for the display of resilience in ensuring that, the primary mandate of the OSGoF in their respective zonal and field offices are met despite some of the glaring challenges confronting you in the discharge of your duties as surveyors in’ Public Service.
“The OSGoF is aware of the various challenges in your respective zonal and field offices as revealed in the quarterly reports and from physical visitations. The challenges identified span from lack of decent office accommodation and furniture, lack of utility vehicles, and the absence of alternative source of power in the face of fluctuating public power supply. Though, not the least to mention is the lack of inadequate survey instruments even in the least order of survey piece needed among others.
“It is pertinent to note that, the Acting SGoF is doing all within the Budgetary Provisions and releases to technically and generally face-lift the status of all Zonal Headquarters and field offices. Owing to paucity of funds, Projects are prioritized and implemented in phases. There is every intention to complete on-going projects and this could be evident in the recently Published advertorials for Expression of Interest for our Projects spread across the Country” he said.
The President of Nigerian Institute of Surveyors, Surveyor (Alabo) C. D. Charles who was represented by the Abuja Chapter Chairman, Surveyor A Alonge noted that the theme used was apt as the OSGoF is expected to be the warehouse of Geospatial Information for use as may be necessary in all facets of national developmental objectives.
Continuing, Charles said the Office is expected to be the repository of all data on our boundary and security matters.
“The choice of the theme: “Integration of Geo-spatial Information: Fundamental input in National Security and Infrastructural Development” is apt. The Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation is expected to be the warehouse of Geospatial Information for use as may be necessary in all facets of national developmental objectives.
“The Office is expected to be the repository of all data on our boundary and security matters. Its database resource should be sought by economist, planners, security agencies, infrastructural and environmental advocates, etc. lt should be the First Port of Call to enable any meaningful decision making on development”.
The conference ended with the participants and stakeholders as well being convinced that the Ag. Survey General has hit the ground running and capable of repositioning OSGoF for over all development of the nation.