By Emma Okonji
The Lagos State government said it has concluded arrangements to begin mapping the entire landscape of the state through its Geographic Information System (GIS) project in the first quarter of this year.
Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Innovation and Technology, Mr. Tubosun Alake, who made the disclosure in Lagos during an interview, said although Lagos had earlier been mapped, he explained that the new mapping would help the state get a more detailed topography and physical state of Lagos for better administration.
According to him, the state had already trained drone pilots and drone maintenance crew that would be on ground to service and maintain the drones. In preparation for the mapping, Lagos State has commenced digitisation of land records in the state because everything needs to be digitised to enhance speed in the mapping process, Alake said.
The plan to use drones for mapping, is coming at a time when the federal government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), is planning to license and monitor the use of drones in the country. Drones are technology driven objects that could fly in the air, while being remotely controlled from a ground location and they are currently used in the health and e-commerce sectors for the delivery of goods and sensitive healthcare materials like blood. They are also used by security agents for emergency evacuation, and they are developed from emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR).
Reacting to the planned licensing and control of the use of drones by the NCC, Alake said: “Although I have not seen the document for the planned licensing and control of the use of drones by the NCC, but I think licensing and control of the use of drones, is a welcome development.
“This is true because there are different used cases of drones, which varies from countries to countries, and that is where the need to license and monitor the use of drones by government is important to avoid cases where people will abuse the use of drones.
“But in as much as I support the idea to license and control the use of drones by government, I also think that the licensing and control should be industry friendly so that businesses can run properly in a more efficient manner.”
Giving reasons for the recent design and display of a mock-up drone by the Lagos State government, Alake said: “Drones are tools that will be used by the Lagos State Government for its Geographic Information System (GIS) project for the mapping of the entire landscape of Lagos. This is necessary because land administration is critical to the Lagos State government, since the mapping makes land administration much easier and efficient.
“With mapping, those in the Ministry of Lands and Survey, will be able to have idea of the entire landscape of Lagos and also know the government reserved areas and the areas that are available for sale to the public.”
“Apart from land allocation, mapping helps to know the land topography and the soil type, which will guide property developers on the capacity of building structure that could be erected in certain areas.
“So the drones will help in the mapping and digitalisation of the state. In case of outbreak of any disease, be it airborne or waterborne disease, the drone could be used in detecting it easily for prompt action.
“The same goes for emergency security issues and disaster issues, the drones will be of great help for the evacuation of people and property from emergency sites,” Alake said.