Acting Surveyor General appeals to NASS for Development of IGIS
The Acting Surveyor General of the Federation, Surveyor Taiwo S. Adeniran has appealed for the support of the National Assembly towards the development of the Integrated Geo-Spatial Information System (IGIS) that could help Nigeria address her multiplicity of challenges and attain huge economic breakthrough.
Surveyor Adeniran made the appeal during the budget defence for the Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (OSGoF) before the joint Senate and House Committee on Works held recently at the new Senate Building in Abuja. The committee was chaired by Distinguished Senator Muhammad Adamu Aliero, Chairman Senate Committee on Works and Honourable Abubakar kabir Abubakar, Chairman House Committee on Works.
Surveyor Adeniran who argued that OSGoF remained a huge resource and knowledge base organization for the country said the office could also generate many revenues for the government only when the necessary facilities were put in place for OSGoF to be able to make available timely and accurate data and information from anywhere for every sector of the economy.
He observed that the government was encumbered by contending nexus of demands, but however gave reasons why OSGoF requires enough funds for its activities such as the production of street guide maps that have been done for the capital of 32 states of the federation including the FCT. Those for 4 states have not been done due to lack of funds according to him. The states are Ebonyi, Katsina, Kebbi, Osun and Jigawa.
The Acting Surveyor General listed some of the achievements of the Office to include the establishment and maintenance of more Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORSs) in various parts of the country; acquisition of 25-User Licence Multi-Spectral Satellite Imagery and Digital Elevation Model covering the entire country; review of the Survey Coordination Act of 1962 which is in the process of being forwarded to the Honourable Minister of Works; determination of Transformation Parameters from Nigerian Minna Datum to the Global Datum using local experts; acquisition of Archival Digital Data Retrieval Equipment; establishment of a High Performance Data Centre and Survey Units in the Federal Highways Department and other relevant Federal Ministries and the OSGoF Consultancy Services – Limited Liability Company. Others were collaboration with multinational companies in staff development and data-sharing; production of the second edition of the National Atlas of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is ongoing; commencement of work on the production of School Atlas from the second edition of the National Atlas. He said OSGoF was in collaboration with many MDAs. One notable achievement of such collaboration was the production of maps being used by the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC) to delimitate electoral wards in the country.
He mentioned that the 2019 appropriation for OSGoF was about N2.3Billion for capital projects and that only N553Million released so far; N844Million for personnel with the release of N529Million, adding that only N111Million was gotten from the N255Million that was appropriated for overhead.
Meanwhile, the office according to Adeniran proposed a total sum of N2.61Billion for 2020 made up of N1.67Billion for capital projects, N710Million for personnel, and N225Million overhead. He says, “In the budget proposal submitted by the Office, the sum of N977,376,161.00 was indicated as the amount required to pay the salaries of 688 staff on the nominal roll and 101 personnel including the directorate staff that have been approved by the Head of the Federal Civil Service of the Federation in various recruitment stages by the Federal Civil Service Commission. However, in the appropriation bill, the amount was N710,161,866.00 that gives a shortfall of N267,214,295.00 which is of great concern to the Office”.
During the interaction, the Distinguished Senators and the Honourable Members of House of Representatives who acknowledged the importance of OSGoF sought the need for the Budget and Planning management and officials to address the demands of OSGoF. They exhorted the office to do more advocacy and sensitization for people to appreciate the use of maps and other products of OSGoF which are consequential to development generally.
Abu I. Michael