Abuja, October 7, 2014: The Surveyor-General of the Nigeria, Prof. Peter Nwilo, recently told media that the Federal Government needs N10 billion annually for next few years to ensure effective mapping of the country.
Nwilo, who was speaking at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja, noted that inadequate funding was delaying the effective spatial and geospatial mapping of the country. He said that the Office of the Surveyor-General needed funds to build a world class data centre and develop other facilities to provide information for potential users.
He said there was a dearth of qualified manpower in the surveying profession, pointing out that currently there were few registered surveyors in Nigeria. "The number of registered surveyors in this country is about 2,500 for a country like Nigeria,” Nwilo said. “The government needs to encourage more people to go into surveying profession by providing standard equipment for tertiary institutions to enhance training.”
Nwilo shared that less than three percent of Nigerians who owned land had Certificate of Occupancy (C of O). He said that the situation was the result of poor implementation of the Land Use Act. He added there was a need for enhanced collaboration among bodies responsible for the implementation of laws governing the allocation of land.
He said that conducting professional surveys was necessary to accurately map out where land structures should be and to guard against erection of structures inappropriately.
“What survey does is to show exactly where the land is; and a cadastral survey is a survey done to give a person the right to ownership of a piece of land. “The cadastral map is one thing that is not available in this country; ask state governments how many of the states are mapping, yet we have survey departments doing nothing. We have slums because development came without mapping; if there is proper mapping you will know where to place the infrastructure,” he said.
The surveyor-general also emphasised on the need for all stakeholders to implement best practices to promote development, adding that the focus should be on quickly produce accurate maps before the existing satellite imagery becomes obsolete.