Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen
Patrick Ugeh in Abuja
The Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, has charged the United Nations-sponsored Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Surveys (RECTAS) to come up with solutions to flooding, drought, earthquakes, wildfires and epidemics.
These occurences, the minister said were spatial in nature and as such required geo- spatial applications.
According to a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the Chief Press Secretary to Surveyor-General, Mrs Janet McDickson, Onolememen gave the charge in Ile–Ife, Osun State, at the commissioning of a new auditorium at RECTAS and the institution’s graduation ceremony.
Represented by the Minister of State for Works, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, the minister said government would continue to encourage the school to sustain its mission and vision by adequate funding and close supervision, and that President Goodluck Jonathan expected only the best. He also recognized the foresight of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) under whose auspices the centre was established some 39 years ago.
Onolememen urged the management of the school, which is bi–lingual with French and English as official languages, to sustain what they were doing, urging other sectors and institutions to emulate RECTAS.
He said RECTAS was a unique centre of excellence established to provide critical mass of Geo–Spatial Science and Aerospace Technology Application experts for African countries.
He thanked other member countries - Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Senegal - for believing in the vision of the school and contributing to the recurrent budget of the school.
The Surveyor–General of the Federation (SGOF), Prof. Peter Nwilo, expressed appreciation to the Federal Government and members of the National Assembly for their commitments to funding the Centre, pointing out that there is a collaboration going on between RECTAS and other centers within and outside Nigeria to produce the best skills that can be useful to the society.
The Executive Director of the school, Prof. Ikhuoria who was the guest speaker said the centre was striving hard to contribute its quota in all ramifications in line with the global development taking place. He craved for more funding to complete some projects that are ongoing.
The projects that the minister commissioned were an auditorium with a seating capacity of 250, a lecture theatre with a 70 to 100 seating capacity, an extension of the library building, a set of three bed room flats with their Boys Quarters and newly constructed roads and car park at the administrative blocks amongst others.