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Forum tasks land surveyors on urbanisation, slum upgrade

The Rector, Federal School of Surveying, Oyo, Mr Nihinlola Olayinka, has called on land surveyors to be more proactive in influencing measures that would facilitate proper urbanisation of the country.

Lagos NIS
A view of participants at the 34th Annual General Meeting and Luncheon of the Lagos Chapter of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS)

Olayinka made the call at the 34th Annual General Meeting and Luncheon of the Lagos Chapter of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS) in Lagos.

He said that many cities of the country were rapidly becoming slum zones due to poor attitude to surveying, planning, management and urban renewal.

According to him, the physical conditions of most areas in Lagos State which have been abandoned to swamp can be upgraded to harbour residents through the help of land surveyors.

He said that surveyors could influence urban policies and promote strategies that would specifically respond to the urbanisation challenges.

Olayinka said surveyors could create an advocacy group with strong government political action committee to influence effective urban management policies.

“Today, the importance of surveying has gone beyond measurement only but also to monitoring and management of our environment thereby making surveying and mapping products increasingly critical to the society.

“Nowadays, population expands, land values appreciate, our natural resources dwindle, human activities pressurise the quality of land, water and air.

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“The advent of modern ground, air/aerial and satellite technologies and computers for data processing had placed the contemporary surveyors at the fore front of decision making through the product of surveying and mapping, hence the changing role of Surveyors had changed from measurement to management,” Olayinka said.

He said that the smart approach to tasks and processes with the miniaturisation of measuring devices had also made surveying and mapping easier than ever before, hence surveyors now work smarter today rather than harder as it used to be.

According to him, surveyors have a big role in the development, installation and maintenance of these cities, stressing that surveying and mapping had been identified as the bedrock of any meaningful development including the smart city.

Olayinka said that the surveying profession has advanced with new methods and equipment, and that the ability to perform advanced measurements and establish positional location information were critical in providing the base data necessary for smart city services.

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“Surveying plays an integral role in the process of city development from planning through construction.

“Mapping and GIS applications allow to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage, and present all types of geographically referenced data.

“Although Mapping and GIS applications do not rely on GNSS as sole means for data capture, the widespread of the GNSS technologies has allowed for low-cost data acquisition processes that made GIS technologies to be more generally used.

“It is in this area that I believe surveyors have capacity to influence urban policies and promote strategies that specifically respond to the urbanisation challenges of today.

“As surveyors, there is need to step up our game through continuous professional development (CPD) and maintain a good inter-relationship with the government of Lagos State and collaborate with other allied professionals,” he added.

In his welcome address, Mr Alabo Charles, the President of NIS, enjoined members to continually be updated with new trends, methods and technologies of the profession to remain relevant in the profession and to the society.

According to him, survey practice is evolving with new trends, stressing the need for human capacity development, particularly in the housing and construction industry.

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“Our society must grow in sync with technological developments, take advantage of them and make life more meaningful and productive. For our sustained relevance we must adapt and be involved for social, political and economic relevance.

“Lagos is in the forefront of this challenge as a mega-city working towards attaining Smart City Status. Achieving these objectives must call to play the interface of skills in all professional fields but fundamentally, Surveying and Geoinformatics take a primary place of importance not only at the conception of policies but continually after actualisation of project dreams, to monitoring of structures and facilities to ensure resilience and sustainability,” added Charles.

Earlier, the Lagos Chapter Chairman of NIS, Mr Adeshina Adeleke, welcomed everyone to the programme and reiterated commitment of the Institution to continually upgrade skills of members to enhance service delivery to the society.

Adeleke said that dearth of skilled workforce in the housing and construction industry hinders infrastructural development in Nigeria.

Adeleke said the gap in Nigeria’s construction industry could be attributed to the dwindling stock of competent skilled construction workers and the influx of unskilled ones.

He said inefficient and dissatisfied workers who see the building sector as a last resort was also a major factor.

Adeleke, therefore, called for government concerted efforts towards creation of the enabling environment that could facilitate the collaboration to boost national economic and infrastructure development. 

By Lilian Okoro

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