Surveyor General: SDGs Unattainable Without Proper Mapping

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By Emmanuel Addeh

The Surveyor General of the Federation, Mr. Taiwo Adeniran, has maintained that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would be unattainable without proper mapping of the country.

According to Adeniran, such geospatial data would assist government in taking critical decisions that will boost the economy and make it easier to meet set development targets. Stressing that the services of surveyors affect all human activities, Adeniran argued that surveying should not be regarded as an all-comers’ affair, stressing that the benchmarks set by the United Nations will be a pipe dream without geospatial information.

“This sustainable development goals that we are expecting the results by 2030, if we don’t have the appropriate geospatial information to make sure that all these can be achieved, it will not get us anywhere by 2030 because survey products will assist you in decision-making and show you where to focus on,” he stated.

The country’s foremost surveyor who spoke on Arise Television, THISDAY’s broadcast arm, noted that the country would need more satellite stations to be able to function effectively in terms of getting geospatial information.

“There’s a particular survey instrument called continuous subway reference information. We need about 205 of substations which are active pillars to have the kind of infrastructure to map Nigeria and reduce all manners of errors in providing a map of the environment,” he added.

He maintained that it was a huge waste of resources for a proliferation of government agencies and parastatals to engage in geo-spatial mapping of the environment when the office of the survey general has experts who can carry out the job.

He said the lack of awareness on the activities of the body led to the decision of the organisation to partner several government agencies in order to create the needed awareness and seek collaboration with other stakeholders.

Adeniran said one major responsibility of the surveyor’s office was that of ensuring adequate and error-proof mapping of the country, but added that some other agencies and organisations in the country as also engaged in mapping for geo-spatial information, which sometimes results in duplication of efforts.

“These are part of the problems we are having and we are all government institutions. There are several mapping activities going on in the country.

“I have been talking to the chairman of the house committee overseeing our office and we have complained that everyone cannot be doing mapping. Apart from that, everybody doesn’t have the expertise,” he argued.