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Experts task government on geospatial information usage

By Bertram Nwannekanma
11 November 2019   |   4:04 am
Disturbed by lack of budgetary allocation for mapping in the 2020 budget, experts in the built environment have urged government at all levels to invest on geospatial technology...

Disturbed by lack of budgetary allocation for mapping in the 2020 budget, experts in the built environment have urged government at all levels to invest on geospatial technology and human capital to ensure cities sustainability.

According to the experts, lack of appropriate data has not only affected planning at all levels, but has subjected Nigerians cities to the danger of flooding and traffic challenges.

The experts, who spoke at the 2019 yearly technical discourse of the Geo-Information Society of Nigeria, reasoned that no city can function properly without data which geospatial information represents.

Leading discussion on the theme: “Locational Intelligence For a Smart Lagos”, the President, Geo Information Society of Nigeria, Dr. Mathew Adepoju said a city like Lagos, which has attained the smart city status cannot afford to function on human knowledge.

According to him, managing a city like Lagos, will require technology and highly trained people. He said: “ there is need to sensitise Nigerians on locational intelligence for a smart city. In greater cities like New York, London, Dubai , they are using geospatial technology to manage them effectively.

Dr. Adepoju, who is a Director of Strategic Space Application in the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Abuja, stressed that what could be described as the bedrock of the Lagos success story today was the award of the contract for the Property Identification Exercise (PIE).

According to him, the GeoInformation project, was key in identifying the location of every building for tax purposes which has boosted the revenue profile of the state and made it the 6th largest economy in Africa.

He warned that if there is no use of geospatial information in planning area like Lekki Free Trade Zone, it may trigger crisis of monumental proportion because the area will eventually attract many allied companies, who want to take advantages of developments.

According to him, there is therefore need for adequate proactive planning to avoid reactionary measures when problems crave in.

Also , a chartered surveyor and chairman of Lagos chapter of the society, Mr. Oluropo Olajugba stressed that systematic problem and corruption have hindered planning efforts in the past.

He said the problem of Lagos is a data problem , which has translated to every facet of the state economy, including traffic problem.

According to him, government has no option that to invest on geospatial technology because geospatial data is the only thing one can use to plan. “It is the information on the surface of the land that government needs to plan with rather employing wishful thinking approach to planning”, he added.

For the General Manager of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr Olajide Oduyoye, an engineer, geospatial information is important in ensuring effective motoring and traffic management of a state of large magnitude like Lagos.

Similarly, the Commander of Lagos Rapid Respond Squad (RRS), Deputy Commissioner of Police, Tunji Disu, stressed the importance of geographic information in crime prevention and mapping as well as identifying hotspots in the state.