Develop framework to tackle insecurity, boundary disputes, Speaker Abbas urges Surveyors




Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, Ph.D, has urged the Nigerian Surveyors to develop a strategic framework that will help to tackle insurgency, terrorism and other insecurity challenges bedevilling the country.


He said that this could be done through the proper mapping of the country to enhance the operational efficiency of the Armed Forces and other security operatives involved in the battle against insurgency and terrorism.


Speaker Abbas also urged the surveyors to be deeply involved in finding lasting solutions to the boundary conflicts across the nation.


The Speaker gave the charge during a courtesy call on him in Abuja on Tuesday by the Nigerian Institute of Surveyors (NIS) led by its President, Dr. Mathew Ibitoye.

Represented by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, Speaker Abbas also commended the institution for contributing immensely to the economic development of the nation.

He said: “I want to commend your role in advancing land administration. Land has been a source of conflicts and insecurity. If you go to the courts today, you will see land matters that have dragged on but with the help of surveyors, decisions are made easier by the judiciary because they rely on your professional evidence that you provide. So, you contribute to conflict resolution, to the peace and unity of this nation by letting every man to know that from Point A to Point A belongs to you but C to D is not yours.


“This is what the map is saying. And once you give your expert opinion in land related matters, that is settled. Boundary disputes have been reduced more than how it would have been if the surveyors were not there. When you have boundary disputes, conflicts that come out of it may end up taking lives.


“Before insurgency, terrorism and all that, boundary dispute was the major cause of so many deaths. You see States, communities fighting. Nothing spills blood more than land disputes. So, you have played a significant role in increasing the level of peace and unity in our country and we commend you for the work you are doing.


“But we will urge the institution to play a further, harder role to help tackle the worrisome security challenges that we have in this country by developing a strategic framework that will enable the country to be properly mapped.


“It will help us enhance professional efficiency in everything we do including the operation of the armed forces because they work with the map. If your map is deceptive, the operational plan of the military or the police for their intervention will not be effective. They will be misguided. That is why the need for mapping cannot be overemphasized.


“I also urge your institution to also help in finding the lasting solution to these boundary conflicts. Yes, it has reduced but not ended and I know you have the intention of leveraging the mapping system.”


Speaker Abbas also said that the institution should have been part of the final decisions on Bakassi Peninsula, assuring that the parliament will strengthen it for more positive results.


“The Bakkasi peninsula happens to be one of the areas the surveyors supposed to have been consulted for your expert opinion to advice the nation thoroughly before we took any position we took because the pillar numbers that are there were placed there by surveyors and the reasons behind placing those pillars some of which were not accounted for.


It was where your expertise would have played a role before we lost that portion of highly valuable part of Nigeria. Bakkasi peninsula should not repeat itself. That’s why we must equip you to safeguard the territories of Nigeria. You don’t just only safeguard it with the weapons of the military. Using mapping that is accurate will help us to know where our land starts and ends.”



Earlier in his presentation, the President of the institution, Dr. Mathew Ibitoye called for the “review of existing statutory legislations regarding, surveying and geoinformatics, such as, Survey Co-ordination Act; Surveyors Council Act; S.18 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; The Systematic Land Titling & Registration; Land Use Act; Land Use And Land Conservation Policies; Local Content Act in the Oil & Gas Sector in the upstream and downstream Sectors”.



He also also appealed for adequate funding of the relevant regulatory agencies in the sector.

“The need for The National Assembly to provide adequate funding support to the
following Federal Government organizations; Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (OSGoF), Surveyors Council of Nigeria (SURCON), Federal School of Surveying, Oyo and African Regional Institute for Geospatial Information Science and Technology (AFRIGIST) Ile-Ife.


“The effective implementation of mapping and surveying initiatives is hindered by the paucity of funds allocated to critical projects. We urge the National Legislative Assembly to prioritize budgetary allocations for mapping, infrastructure, capacity building, and technology acquisition”, he said.