FG Launches Nationwide Subsoils Atlas, to Benefit Planners

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Dele Ogbodo in Abuja

The federal government, through the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), an agency under the Ministry of Science and Technology, has launched the country’s first edition of a nationwide engineering subsoils atlas.

At the unveiling of the soil data document in Abuja recently, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said the built industry, agriculturist, urban /regional planners and other stakeholders will immensely benefit from the latest sub soil grading and profiles.

Onu, commended the leadership and management of NBRRI for their vision and deep sense of commitment to national development in ensuring that the marching order he gave them to ensure that the map was ready by January 2017 was satisfactorily met.

According to the minister, “science and technology is set to usher a new dawn through utilising its various researches and innovations to defeat poverty, create jobs, strengthen the country’s currency, re-awaken our national pride and stimulate growth in our national economy, for a better and more prosperous nation for upcoming young ones.

“This will help Nigeria build a modern economy that is knowledge based, thereby helping to restore our national pride as a nation that has the largest concentration of black people in the world”, the minister added.

While commending NBRRI for research foresight, he said the landmark document is an invaluable aid to road planners, designers and even contractors who can obtain prior insights of the types of sub grade soil available across the nation.

Onu stated that the atlas would also aid appropriate response to re-moulding and loading in any location even before they engage in any detailed fieldwork, which would be useful to both public institutions and private concerns.

According to him, “the document will come handy in the areas of decision making for engineering works, including road and earth dams, slope stability analyses, tunnelling, foundation decisions for buildings, communication masts and bridges among others.”
Considering the overall benefit of the document to the country’s development, he directed that copies of the atlas be made available to other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as in their respective offices at zonal and State levels where civil work contractors will also find it useful in planning the execution of their briefs.

In his welcome remarks, the Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NBRRI, Prof. Danladi Matawal, informed the minister that the significance of the atlas will be better appreciated if Nigerians will be aware of the fact that every man-made project, except rocket in space, have their foundation inside the soil.

He informed the Minister that the implication of the availability of a soil atlas is that decision making for planning; design and construction can be expedited through prior knowledge of the nature and types of soils to be encountered in a chosen location in the country right from the conception stage.

He acknowledged the fact that a soil map is of great significance to engineering as every stake holder, and will have a preliminary guide for decisions and the need for specific detailed spot for exploration works and projects.
Matawal said the compilation of the soils data is very significant to Nigeria’s economic development because every man-made project have their foundation inside the soil.

He stressed: “The general knowledge of the soil types and their engineering classifications is of paramount significance to the developmental aspirations of the country.

“For every project conception, both the preliminary and detailed knowledge of the ground conditions established through borehole exploratory works, sampling, laboratory testing and analyses are of paramount importance.”

According to him, the implication of the availability of a Soils Atlas is that decision making for planning, design and construction can be expedited through prior knowledge of the nature and types of soils to be encountered in a chosen location in the country right from conception stage.
He revealed that the research that produced the soils atlas started as far back as 1983.