Abuja – The Surveyor-General of the Federation, Prof. Peter Nwilo, said on Monday that the Federal Government needed to provide N10 billion annually for some years to ensure effective mapping of the country.
Nwilo, who made the call on the forum in Abuja, noted that inadequate funding was delaying the effective spatial and geo-spatial mapping of the country.
He said that the Office of the Surveyor-General needed funds to build a world class data centre and develop other facilities to provide information for potential users.
“The funding is the major issue. The funding situation is very poor. Government must give us up to N10 billion yearly for quite some time. We are working on data centre.
“You need to gather all these things and put there so that someone who is coming to Nigeria and wants something on erosion we should be able to tell him the situation in the country.
“And of course the maps we are producing, we need to move quickly and finish. The imagery I have today if we wait for the next three years would become obsolete. We must use those information.
“It has been difficult to map the entire country. So, if we are funded properly we would provide so much for this country and they would be proud of us.’’
He said there was a dearth of qualified manpower in the surveying profession, pointing out that currently there were few registered surveyors in Nigeria.
Nwilo stressed the need for the government to encourage more people to go into the profession by providing standard equipment for tertiary institutions to enhance training.
“It may interest you to know that the number of registered surveyors in this country is about 2,500 for a country like Nigeria.
“We say that we are 923,000 square kilometres and we have that number. That is absolutely very small.
“There are so many things that we need to do that are not being done. We need people. We need more than we have.
“If you make my staff members earn well, if you make people working elsewhere earn well, the young people would want to join.’’