The Nigerian Cartographic Association (NCA) on Monday, October 22, 2018 in Abuja urged the National Assembly to pass the bill to establish the Cartographers Registration Council of Nigeria.
Prof. Andrew Obafemi, the President of NCA, made the call at the 40th anniversary and annual general meeting of the association.
The theme of the conference was “Cartography and Geospatial Revolution: Decision Tools for National Security, Disaster Management and Economic Recovery”.
Cartography is the art, science and technology of making maps and map alternatives. It is also the art of graphically representing a geographical area usually in a flat surface.
According to Obafemi, the bill, if passed into law, would ensure that the practice of map making in the country is regulated.
“We wish to revive our call on the National Assembly to pass a bill establishing the Cartographers Registration Council.
“This is to ensure that the practice of map making in the country is regulated with the guidance and coordination of the Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation, which has the constitutional responsibility of overseeing surveying and mapping activities in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Obafemi further urged the Federal Government to set up a National Cartographic Centre to undertake the production of a diverse range of thematic and special maps in the country.
He pointed out that the centre would promote cartographic professionalism in Nigeria and would be supervised by the Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation.
He also called on the military to brace up to the challenges of acquiring and publishing maps for national security.
Mr Ebisintei Awudu, the Surveyor General of the Federation said that professional mapping of the country would help avert earth traumatic issues that could lead to tremors, flood disasters and earthquakes.
“With maps, we will be able to send the right message whether learned or illiterate. You will discover that you can connect with people better.
“We can have maps for population census, electioneering, for flooding, prediction and also giving advice to the local people,” Awudu said.
According to him, mapping can be deployed in precision agriculture and areas free locations in terms of terrorists’ attacks.
Awudu further called on professionals in the surveying and mapping area to upgrade their skills in mapping, adding that it would make them more relevant.
Prof. Olayinka Balogun, former NCA President, while talking on “Transition to a Digital Map of Nigeria”, said that a single map of Nigeria would make it easier for usage.
“With these current developments in computer technology, digital cartography and GIS, we should move ahead toward the conversion of all paper maps to digital maps.
“This we can scroll to any part of the country using a grabber, a cursor or a search command.
“We should not leave various innovators to come out with embarrassing maps of Nigeria,” he said.
He added that Nigeria was still spending scarce resources on importing digitisers, scanners for everybody and departments of government to use.
Balogun, however, said that it was the responsibility of cartographers to produce digital maps and not scientists.